Victoria Ebbels Hutson Huntley

Victoria Ebbels Hutson Huntley (1900 – 1971)

Victoria Ebbels Hutson Huntley was best known as a painter, muralist and printmaker better known for her work in the latter medium, was born in 1900 in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, but lived in New York City from infancy until 1921. She studied in New York City at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, and at the Art Students League. Because she was still in grammar, then high school, Huntley, from the age of twelve through eighteen, attended classes at the League on Saturdays. In 1918, she attended the New York School of Fine and Applied Art on a scholarship. She entered the Art Student League’s regular schedule of classes in 1919.

There she worked with realist painters George Bridgman, George Luks and John Sloan, and abstractionist Max Weber. When her father died at the end of her second year at the League, she entered Teachers College, then moved to Denton, Texas, where she was an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the College of Industrial Arts from 1921 – 1923. She then returned to the League for study with realist painter Kenneth Hayes Miller and mural painter, William C. Palmer. She responded mainly to Weber’s teaching, and appreciated Luks’ belief that she had the potential to be a mural painter.

She married William K. Hutson in 1925. In 1934, she would marry Ralph Huntley. She assumed his name as hers professionally. They moved to West Cornwall, Connecticut, in 1936. Her life and art would take her to New York, Texas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey.

Huntley’s early work explored precision industrial forms, followed later by still-lifes, landscapes, rural genre scenes, and birds and flowers. In 1930, a series of lithographs depicting industrial and factory sites, entitled “Steam and Steel”, earned her national attention. She created a series of lithographs in the 1940s based on the plants and birds of the Florida Everglades. She painted murals in post offices in Greenwich, Connecticut and Springfield, New York.

Huntley exhibited paintings and drawings in 1930 at the Weyhe Gallery, her first one-person show in New York City. Carl Zigrosser, Director of Weyhe, and a connoisseur of printmaking, encouraged her to take up lithography, remaining a life-long friend and mentor. She followed his advice and concentrated more on that medium. She was aided in her quest by George Miller, who instructed and advised her from 1930 to 1948.

Huntley exhibited, also in 1930, in the International Exhibition of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, winning the Logan Prize. She won another prize, a first, at the National Exhibition of the Philadelphia Print Club in 1933 in Pennsylvania. She was a member of the American Artists Group, and elected an Associate Member of the National Academy, New York City, in 1942.

Huntley’s prints are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York City; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; St. Charles Public Library, Illinois; University of Glasgow, Scotland; Collection of the Government of Italy.

She received grants and awards from the Philadelphia Printmakers Club in 1933; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. in 1945; and Association of American Artists in 1946. In 1947, she was awarded a grant from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; in 1948, a Guggenheim Fellowship; and in 1950 and 1951, awards from the Society of American Graphic Artists.

Huntley’s teaching activities included painting and drawing at the Birch-Wathen School in New York City, 1934-1942; resident artist at the Redding Ridge School, in Connecticut, 1939-1941; resident artist and teacher of art at the Pomfret School, Connecticut, 1942-1946; and Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, 1946-1953.
In 1948, she wrote and illustrated the book, “Portraits of Plants and Places.”

In a May, 1960 article in American Art, “On Making a Lithograph,” Huntley detailed the process using her lithograph, “Peck’s Barn,” as an example. She is listed in Who Was Who in American Art, Sound View Press, 1985.

Victoria Ebbels Hutson Hundley and her husband moved to Chatham, New Jersey in 1963. She died there in 1971.

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