Charles W. Hutson

Charles W. Hutson


Born in 1840 in McPhersonville, South Carolina, Mr. Hutson was also a scholar, historian, and writer. After graduating from South Carolina College, he served as a private in the Confederate Army. He became a casualty in the first Battle of Bull Run in 1861 and was captured in the Battle of Seven Pines in 1862. 

He had begun sketching in pastel while teaching in Texas in 1905. However, it was not until his retirement that he became serious about painting. Turning to his surroundings in New Orleans and the Mississippi coast for inspiration, he developed a radiant and expressive style: first in pastels, then watercolor, and later, in oils. An amateur botanist, his love of nature is apparent in his work. He has been described as both a modernist and a primitive, a reflection of his vision and uniqueness.

Greatly admired in his lifetime, recognition came through exhibitions by the Society of Independent Artists in New York in 1917 and the Delgado Museum of Art in 1931. He was ninety-one years old when he was given his first one-man exhibition at the Delgado, now the New Orleans Museum of Art. He died in 1936 in New Orleans.

His works can be found in the Phillips Collection, New Orleans Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Art, and the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was included in “They Taught Themselves: American Primitive Painters of the 20th Century” by Sidney Janis published in 1942.

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