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About This Site

This site is an on-going project to develop a digital catalog of Mary E. Hutchinson's work.

Mary E. Hutchinson (1906-1970) is unknown today even though she produced more than 250 works and achieved critical recognition in the U.S. during the mid-twentieth century. Hutchinson's absence from art history today is not just a matter of lost and found. Hutchinson and her work are not only lost, they have become unintelligible.  By unintelligible, I mean that her art is now difficult or even impossible to read in meaningful ways.  Or, the meanings available make no sense when placed in context with her lived experience and her other work.  As Hutchinson’s paintings and drawings have popped up in the past few years, they have been variously categorized as American Scene painting, associated with the Harlem Renaissance, and “of gay [male] interest.”  Furthermore, Hutchinson herself became unintelligible as an artist within her own lifetime.  Her death certificate records her lifelong profession as “art teacher” rather than artist.

While this site brings her work into public access, it also critiques the structures and limits of art history associated with gender, sexuality, and race which have rendered her life and work unintelligible.