and a suckling pig
From: Nancy Rees of CT
About 1949 or 1950, I went to
Provincetown to study with Peter for a couple weeks. I was to teach the
painting at a paint store in Washington, D.C., which carried DuPont
paints. I later taught it there in five lessons. The lessons were free. We
sold the students an inexpensive kit full of different colors of DuPont
paint, brushes, pamphlets, etc. I made them do homework -- they loved it.
They all brought me gifts at the last lesson. It was great fun.
As to my time in Provincetown, it was truly marvelous. I has
never been to such a pace, never met such charming people. It was a
very happy time for me.
Peter was so unique. You certainly have portrayed him
perfectly. I can't believe you never knew him! Everyone loved him so. He
truly made everybody happy. We laughed with him and we worked very hard
for him. All had a great time.
Peter came to Washington once for some reason. He attended a
dinner party given by my parents: a suckling pig from our Virginia farm
was the main attraction, and it was paraded around before it was carved.
Before the carving, Peter "Peter Hunt-ed" the pig with
somebody's lipstick -- hearts and flowers all over it! It was beautiful
and the guests were entranced. What an evening!
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Peter Hunt's works
showcased in P'town's Pilgrim Monument exhibition
Provincetown, the Cape Cod village Peter Hunt
called home and where he developed and sold his folk-decorated pieces,
hosted a six-month exhibit of his works at its Pilgrim Monument and
Provincetown Museum (PMPM).
Jeffory Morris, Curator of Collections for the PMPM,
assembled the exhibit, which included spectacular pieces from the
town's collection, which hadn't been on public display for
several years. He also contacted leading Peter Hunt collectors for
exhibits, including the artist's friend, Berta Walker of Berta Walker's
Gallery in Provincetown.
Featured exhibits included an important dining room hutch
decorated by Hunt with his own whimsical version of the story of Solomon
and Sheba. Using a palette largely limited to oranges, greens and pale
yellow, the hutch is decorated with finely executed depictions of the
characters, their servants and the surroundings of the well-known
As part of the PMPM exhibit, Lynn Van Dine, Peter Hunt
biographer and author of The Search for Peter Hunt, gave a
presentation on "Searching for Peter Hunt: The Uncommon Story of an
finds treasure when cleaning out old home
Dwight Butcher of Ohio:
Dear Peter Hunt fans,
A few months ago my wife and I found
your website when looking up Peter Hunt. Since we had searched the
internet before, it was a pleasant surprise to see so many people
interested in Peter's work.
Although I have reviewed your
website several times over the last 6 to 9 months, I have yet to see
an object to compare to what we found in a house we bought in
Columbus, Ohio in 1984.
We bought the house and contents from a
couple of sisters who were teachers. We bought the property to rent
since it is about one block to the Ohio State
School. But, when we were considering what to clean out and what to
keep, we came across this piece of handpainted furniture. It looked
much like Pennsylvania tole painting. There was also a wooden chair
painted with the same or similar designs.
We took home these pieces as well
as some other nice objects. The larger piece is approximately 5
feet in length and also about 5 feet high at it's highest point.
Much of the piece is painted real nice shades of green, reds,
yellows and beige all sort of antiqued looking. The piece has two
large shelves the full length of the piece. Each shelf is
completely decorated with wonderful decoration and color. The top
of the area above the shelves is also fully decorated. This is
where we keep a few decorative pieces. Each of these areas are
about 16 to 18 inches deep.
Then there is the
back panel which has some smaller shelves maybe 4 inches deep.
It is highlighted and brought to life by Peter Hunt's
use of colors. Also, across the back just above the deep
drawer, there are words in French and the year 46. Peter
Hunt's name is hand signed on the end of the piece in red.
Remembering Peter's DuPont years
From Bob Wescott:
My father was with the DuPont Company Paint
Division and a good friend of a Lee Moffitt, the divisionís director
of Advertising. It was Lee who persuaded DuPont that they could sell
more paint through the presentation of Peter Huntís work and his
techniques in step-by-step brochures. As a result of these booklets
Peterís style caught on with the American public in those post-war
times, creating the beginning of the do-it-yourself craze that swept
across the country.
Moffit would come over to our suburban Philadelphia
house with his promotional pieces which got me, a budding
artist, interested in Peterís approach, starting me off painting any
old piece we had around the house that my Mother would allow me to.
During the summer of 1946 my best friend and I decided to go
Youth Hosteling in New England. We ended up in Provincetown, which we liked so
much we decided to stay awhile.
I went down to the Peasant Village to see Peter
Hunt. At that age you think, ďWill he see me?Ē and you
doubt it. But he could not have been more gracious. Peter gave the two of us jobs as handymen. We
were in heaven; here we were on our own, our own apartment, working
for the most talented man in Pítown, Peter Hunt.
Peter and his staff could not have been nicer to two
kids. I especially remember a Bruce McCain, a big barrel chested guy
with the gentlest manner. It was Bruce who really did all the heavy
hauling and lifting at Peasant Village. We were both so surprised to
learn that Bruce, this modest guy, was a painter who would have major
shows of his paintings on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
Over the Christmas Shop, across the street from
the Peasant Shop, Peter had created spectacular apartments with
panoramic views of Cape Cod Bay. We would occasionally get to see
these flats when we were asked to clean them up for the next tenant.
We had never seen anything like it, for here Peter really was perking.
They were total Peter Hunt in every detail, which is why they were so
very expensive. Such color and diversity of styles. My favorite room
was the Cantonware bedroom.
It was a splendid experience, one I shall never forget and it
had a big influence on my life.
.Copyright © 2004-2008
Lynn C. Van Dine
All rights reserved
pieces on display at Sandwich Antiques Center
Cape Cod antique dealers Dan Griffin and Ann
Mango put their remarkable collection of Peter Hunt pieces on
display recently for visitors to the Sandwich Antiques Center.
are a wide range of pieces, such as a stunning sawbuck table with
Hunt's stylized trompe l'oiel place settings, an antique child's sled
festooned with hearts and flowers, a charming decorated doll's dresser
and a watering can peinted by Hunt's lead apprentice, Nancy Whorf
Kelly of Provincetown.
Also featured are Hunt style firkins, shelves and unsigned
Griffin and Mango own Pink Swan Antiques of Dennis and can be
reached by calling (508) 771-5849.
A piece of paradise
From Bill & Shirley Proud of Tenn.:
Several years ago at an auction in Seattle area
we bought the trunk (above). I had suspected it to be Pennsylvania
Dutch but had wondered if there were any modern connections /forgeries
etc . The inscription along front of the lid reads "Adam, Eve et le
serpent (Ouivre -we think , which
doesnít make sense to our French ) Anno Domini 17xx " the 17 is faint the last two numbers are unreadable
.The paint is very similar if not identical to what we have previously
had described as 'milk paint.' It has the original strap hinges and
cut-nails in the base but NOT the lid . The trunk is 41" x17 on top x
22 high , made mostly of single pine planks
Reading your webpage re this Peter Hunt character has us
wondering could it be his ?? It is well worn to be so young ...
Any ideas what it is ? Or who are the experts we might
(Editor's note: It is indeed a Hunt
piece, and a wonderful one at that.)