Harlan Hubbard

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Harlan Hubbard
Born(1900-01-04)January 4, 1900
Bellevue, Kentucky
DiedJanuary 16, 1988(1988-01-16) (aged 88)
NationalityAmerican
EducationNational Academy of Design & Art Academy of Cincinnati
Known forPainting
 
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Harlan Hubbard
Born(1900-01-04)January 4, 1900
Bellevue, Kentucky
DiedJanuary 16, 1988(1988-01-16) (aged 88)
NationalityAmerican
EducationNational Academy of Design & Art Academy of Cincinnati
Known forPainting

Harlan Hubbard (January 4, 1900 - January 16, 1988) was an American artist and author who lived a simple life that Henry David Thoreau only experimented with.

Early life and education[edit]

Hubbard was born in Bellevue, Kentucky. His father died when Harlan was only seven. Soon thereafter, his mother moved him to New York City to be with his two older brothers who were living there at the time. (One of his brothers, Lucien Hubbard (1888-1971), became a famous Hollywood screenwriter.) Hubbard attended Childs High School in the Bronx and received his art education from New York's National Academy of Design and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. In 1919, he returned with his mother to northern Kentucky and settled in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

Simple living at Payne Hollow[edit]

As a young man, Hubbard saw the industrial development in America as a threat to the natural world and he thoroughly rejected consumer culture. In 1929 he started keeping a journal into which he poured his thoughts on society. In 1943, he married Anna Eikenhout (she died May 3, 1986). The following year they built a shantyboat at Brent, Kentucky and traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, ending their journey in the Louisiana bayous in 1951. His book Shantyboat recounts the eight-year journey from Brent to New Orleans. His book Shantyboat in the Bayous, which was published in 1990, completes the story.

In 1951, Harlan and Anna built a primitive, yet elegant home at Payne Hollow on the shore of the Ohio River in Trimble County, Kentucky. It was there that the Hubbards lived lives that have been described as simultaneously frugal and abundant. To fully understand the Hubbards' lives and their rejection of modern society, Payne Hollow and Journals, 1929-1944 are essential reading. Author Wendell Berry was a close friend of Hubbard's and has written and lectured on the Hubbards' lives.

Artistic legacy[edit]

Hubbard's art is largely pastoral and he was accomplished with oils, watercolors, and woodblock printing. The Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, Kentucky and the Frankfort Community Public Library (Frankfort, Indiana) have significant collections of his work.

Hubbard bequeathed Payne Hollow to his friend Paul Hassfurder. Hassfurder, an artist in his own right, has made his home there since 1989.[1]

Works[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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