HomeBiographyThe BookSightingsLibraryGalleryLinks

Stories and messages from Peter Hunt & Peasant Village visitors


Peter, Provincetown
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!



Send us your Sightings!

If you have a story, recollection, question or idea for our Sightings page, we'd love to hear from you. Email your stories and pictures to Info@peasantvillage.com.


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 allegory.
    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 Uncommon Artist."
          Happy accident
 Couple finds treasure when cleaning out old home

From 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 University Medical 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


Hunt 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.  Exhibited 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 "smalls."
    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 contact ??

(Editor's note: It is indeed a Hunt piece, and a wonderful one at that.)