Robert Douglas Hunter (1928-2014), American
"Arrangement With A Copper Vessel", 1994
oil on canvas, 16 in. x 24 in.
(framed dimensions: 21 in. x 29 in.)
signed lower left: "Robert Douglas Hunter '94"
This is a pleasing example of Mr. Hunter's signature still life compositions. The painting fairly shimmers in both natural and gallery light, the warm color notes of the copper vessel contrasting with the cobalt and ultramarine blues of the smaller objects. As would be expected, the composition is also pleasingly well balanced, with the just off center copper vessel countered by the blue glass sphere at the far left. Robert Douglas Hunter's still life paintings display all of the elements of the Boston School of painting: good design and composition, close observation of true color and value in both light and shadow, lost and found edges and being able to see and paint the entire scene as a whole rather than a collection of independent elements, which is easier said than done.
Mr. Hunter was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1928. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1945 and served two years in the Marine Corps. In 1949, he graduated with honors from the Vesper George School of Art. He studied in Provincetown with Henry Hensche during the summers of 1949 and 1950, then with R.H. Ives Gammell through 1955, that latter artist having passed on to Hunter the ideals he learned from his own mentor William McGregor Paxton. It was in Gammell's studio that Hunter met his future wife, Elizabeth Ives Valsam (Gammell's goddaughter). He taught at the Vesper George School from 1950-1983 and at the Worcester Art Museum from 1965-1975. Robert Douglas Hunter was known informally as the "Dean of the Boston School" of painting. He passed on his knowledge and helpful critiques to many artists over the years and judged many competitions. While he painted portraits and landscapes as well, he took particular delight in painting still life - a genre in which he could control the composition, the colors, and lighting to his liking. I had the pleasure to meet and get to know Bob back in 1996 when I was working part time in a gallery. He was a true gentleman and very considerate and generous with his advice and so very likable. His low tolerance for pretentiousness will always endear him to me, as well as his hilarious observation that painting is "just so damned easy!" (find the thing that is least right and fix it!).
Robert Douglas Hunter won more than thirty regional and national prizes. He was a member of the Copley Society, the Guild of Boston Artists, the Provincetown Art Association and the Allied Artists of America. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Ackland Art Museum, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Chrysler Art Museum, the Maryhill Museum, the Michelson Museum of Art, and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, not to mention numerous private, educational and corporate collections. He has a gallery wing named in his honor at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, which featured a retrospective exhibition of his paintings.
The painting is in excellent condition. The surface is clean, the colors vivid, there are no stretcher bar marks and is housed in a quality gold leaf or gold finish frame which is in equally good condition.
Robert Douglas Hunter painting, "Arrangement With A Copper Vessel", oil on canvas