images from the Gibbs museum, Charleston, S.C.
Alfred Hutty (1877-195400 Born in Michigan Hutty was trained though the Art Students League in New York. He followed famed teacher Birge Harrison to Woodstock, New York where a summer adjunct school was created by Harrison. After Harrison, John Carlson took over theis school which still exists as the Woodstock School of Art. Woodstock was one of the summer art colonies that flourished in the early part of the 20th century. Most were inspired by Giverny and other summer painting grounds that a generation of American impressionists frequented during their atelier years in France.
Hutty found Charleston in 1919, The town had become a backwater and was pretty dilapidated, He painted street scenes of the sagging buildings with their shutters askew and laundry hanging on their porches. Of course all of those buildings have been restored to their former glory now. But from a painters standpoint they were better then. Most of historic Charleston is an 18th city, and was once one of the richest towns in America, her fortunes built on commodities like rice and indigo. "Gone with the Wind" was set in the Charleston area.
A lot of the charm of these etchings is the wonderfully varied lines. Hutty has used the tired facades of these Georgian homes to make arrangements with asymmetrical forms and highly textured surfaces. As many etchers have before him, he exploited the ability of etching to give the rich velvety blacks that contrast with the white of the paper where the plate was left unopened by his needle.
Woodstock and Charleston were not the only art colonies that Hutty visited though. He also spent time in Gloucester and Rockport Massachusetts. He was a member of the North Shore Art Association and below is an etching of Motif number one. I have painted this view many times, I lived less than a hundred yards from it for years. The motif was replaced after being damaged by the no name storm written about in the "The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. Like Charleston it has been saved and restored. Both would have collapsed without their salvation at the hands of the restorers , but they did have more charm for the painter in their dilapidated condition.
Below the Hutty etching is a view of the motif as it looks today.