October 2, 2011
Mary Daniel has graced the KOAR webpage image header since we first went online in April 2006. She was interviewed by Nancy Crane in the Lexington Herald-Leader in 1992 on the occasion of a posthumous one-person show of the work of Edward Fisk, professor in the University of Kentucky Art Department from 1926 to 1942. “Mary D. Lilly learned more than 50 years ago that sitting still doesn’t agree with her,” the article opened. “It was 1938 and she was posing for a portrait by artist Edward Fisk at his Hampton Court apartment. ‘It was the hardest thing I ever did to keep still that long.'” Mary Daniel (Lilly, after marriage) worked as Edward and Lucy Fisk’s housekeeper, not your typical artist’s model. “Lilly is not sure what about her caught the artist’s eye. ‘As an artist, I guess he saw something — the expression on my face or something — that he wanted to paint.'”
At the time this article was published, Mary Daniel Lilly at 77 was only semi-retired. One day a week “‘I still look after Allie,'” the Fisk’s daughter, “‘which I promised her mother when she was sick that I would do.'” However, most of Lilly’s time went to numerous volunteer activities, which she had begun fifteen years earlier as a way to “help cope with the death of her husband of 40 years, Marcellus.” Her remarkable energy and “dedication to the community has not gone unnoticed. In 1989 she was named Lexington’s Outstanding Volunteer by the Volunteer Center of the Bluegrass.” Fisk painted another portrait of the young Mary Daniel, too, seen at: http://www.edwardfisk.com/portrait/pages/port05.htm
I guess we will never know exactly what caught Fisk’s eye on that day in 1938, yet the indomitable spirit he clearly captured still illuminated Mary Daniel Lilly’s life fifty years later, just as it does ours now.
February 25, 2011
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.
Summer Landscape: The House on the Ridge
“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.