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Robert Douglas Hunter

Robert  Douglas Hunter: Robert Douglas Hunter

Robert Douglas Hunter


1928 - present

Robert Douglas Hunter was born in Dorchester, outside of Boston, in 1928 and has lived in Massachusetts all his life.

He enrolled at Vesper George School of Art, and during the summers of 1949 and 1950 he studied in Provincetown with Henry Hensche. While in Provincetown, Hunter met R.H. Ives Gammell, whom Hunter would study under from 1950 to 1955.  Hensche and Gammell would become Hunter’s most important artistic influences.

Gammell was part of the Boston School, a loosely affiliated group of artists that throughout its history included William Paxton, Edmund Tarbell and Joseph DeCamp. Their work was considered “Classical Realism”, a blending of the Classical approach of the Greeks with a more modern Realism.

Known primarily for his still-life paintings, Hunter’s techniques are very much rooted in Gammell’s teachings, yet his confident use of color is derived much more from Hensche’s Impressionistic style. Hunter’s carefully planned compositions, which often feature a jug or bottle holding a flower stem, use light and shadow to create atmosphere. In his own words, Hunter attempts to “create an illusion of order, with some degree of sensibility to beauty.”

Hunter is also known for his prolific teaching career. He was instrumental in continuing the Gammell teaching studio following Gammell’s death, he was an instructor at the Vesper George School of Art and the Worcester Art Museum, and he has taught privately for more than 40 years, with nearly 40 professional artists crediting Hunter as their mentor. He is known, like Gammell, for teaching traditional, academic painting skills in an era when art schools were not.

Hunter has won numerous awards, including a citation in 1979 from the governor of Massachusetts. His work is part of public and private collections throughout the United States, and in 2001 a gallery at the Cape Cod Museum of Art was dedicated in Hunter’s honor.

Last updated: November 27, 2012

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