It is a bit unusual for someone to approach us about including an artist in KOAR. (And we would like to change that!) So I was delighted last year when Meg Shaw, Art & Theater Librarian at the University of Kentucky’s Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library, initiated contact with me about introducing the paintings of Harlan Hubbard to our online audience. Since we want to encourage more folks to share Kentucky’s rich artistic heritage through KOAR, I was curious about what motivated her inquiry.
“The project is important to me because Harlan Hubbard was a very prolific, but underappreciated artist,” Meg explained. “He had a remarkable career as an artist and writer, living most of his life near the Ohio River. The life and landscape of the river is explored deeply in his art. His paintings are a revealing counterpart to the two books he authored, Shantyboat and Payne Hollow, and the four volumes of his journals that were published afterwards. Wendell Berry celebrated his life in a lecture series and a book, Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work. Yet his art never achieved the exposure that his writings did. He documented the scenes of Campbell County and Trimble County in a way that is more true to nature than a photograph, and produced paintings that express his love of the landscape there. The paintings that are now in the KOAR database were shown at the Hopewell Museum in 2008, in the exhibit, “Harlan Hubbard: A Life in the Landscape, 1900-1988”. They are from private collections. The Lucille Little Fine Arts Library has a digital image database of paintings by Harlan Hubbard from regional collections. For more information, go to http://libguides.uky.edu/HarlanHubbard”
You can see a few examples of Harlan Hubbard’s paintings on our Recent Additions webpage, or you can search the database directly for a look at more of his pre-1950 work by entering “Harlan Hubbard” in the Quick Search text box. We warmly welcome the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library as a new KOAR Partner and look forward to adding more of their images in future. We hope that you enjoy discovering the art of Harlan Hubbard, too.