Peter Hunt

Selection of Artwork by the Provincetown Folk Artist

May 20 through November 30, 2005

Curated by Jeffory Morris

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) will mount an exhibition entitledPeter Hunt, featuring selections of artworks by the Provincetown folk artist. The exhibit will open with a public reception on Friday, May 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. and continue through November 30, 2005. The opening will be followed by a book signing by Lynn Van Dine, author of The Search for Peter Hunt on Saturday, June 4, 2005 at 2:00 p.m.

 

The exhibit will focus on the life and work of Provincetown folk artist Peter Hunt, featuring selections of his artwork, along with photographs and other archival materials. Jeffory Morris, PMPM Curator of Collections, will assemble the Peter Hunt exhibit, which will feature selections of Hunt’s artwork from Cape Cod private and public collections, including works owned by the Town of Provincetown. The exhibit will contain a wide variety of Hunt’s famous furniture, paintings and printed material, and utilitarian objects such as a baking pans and serving trays. The PMPM has asked Lynn Van Dine to write special labels on Peter Hunt’s biography and painting technique for the exhibition.

 

In the early 1940’s Peter Hunt established a workshop called Peter Hunt’s Peasant Village in Provincetown. Employing as many as a dozen local people as apprentices, Hunt became famous for adapting the bold brushstrokes of folk designs to decorate and brighten junk-shop furniture. His technique was the subject of several books and he was featured in a Time magazine article in November 1942. At the height of his fame, New York socialites were his patrons and his painted furniture had become a phenomenon.

 

In her 2003 book, The Search for Peter Hunt, author Lynn Van Dine wrote “Peter Hunt was a terrible–and wonderful–liar…A Cape Cod folk artist from the 1920s to 1960s, he was wildly popular across the United States for decorating furniture with whimsical designs he culled from European peasants. With inexhaustible charm, he told stories of a royal heritage and of adventures around the world to manipulate his way into New England’s poshest circles. His pieces made their way into the finest homes and, soon after, they were displayed at the best department stores in New York.”

 

Closing his business in Provincetown in the 1950’s, Hunt moved to Orleans, Massachusetts, where he opened another workshop, Peacock Alley. Peter Hunt died in his sleep in 1967. To this day, his painted furniture and objects garner continued interest with the public and collectors.

 

Jeffory Morris, PMPM Curator of Collections, will assemble the Peter Hunt exhibit, which will feature selections of Hunt’s artwork from Cape Cod private and public collections, including works owned by the Town of Provincetown.

 

Breakfront Bookcase painted by Peter Hunt. Collection of James Bakker, Provincetown, MA. Peter Hunt decorated bird house. Collection of Mrs. Gordon A. Weller Peter Hunt Furniture Decal, 1951. Collection of Lynn Van Dine
 

 

 

Chest of Drawers, painted by Carol Westcott, an apprentice of Peter Hunt. Collection of the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. 2005 Museum Donation by James D. Merritt and John B. Hawker, Provincetown, MA and New York, NY.

Peter Hunt Web Site - Peter Hunt & Peasant Village, Celebrating American folk artist
PETER HUNT (1896-1967)  - www.peasantvillage.com

 



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