A seventy year resident of Greenport, Long Island he was considered to be an impressionist, landscape, and marine painter. Whitney Hubbard led a secluded, exemplary life much admired for his talent by local persons but with little recognition beyond local citizens. His painting subjects were primarily of that area.
When he died in 1965, his paintings sold for a pittance, but a local art dealer, Melvin Kitchen, saw the potential value in Hubbard’s work. Before Kitchen’s death, he did research on the artist and organized several exhibitions,which helped to earn the artist some of the recognition he did not see in his lifetime.
Hubbard was born in Middletown, Connecticut and spent his early years there with his family whose ancestors were some of the earliest settlers of the Connecticut River Valley. About 1888, they moved to Greenport, but Hubbard returned to Middletown to attend Wesleyan University, earning a Bachelor of Science. From 1899 to 1902, he taught public school on Long Island and then became a student at the Art Students League in New York. His only teacher was Frank Vincent DuMond, whom Hubbard followed to Lyme, Connecticut for summer plein-air painting classes.
By 1906, Hubbard was teaching again, but by 1912 had determined to be a full-time artist and began widely exhibiting his work including the National Academy of Design, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Brooklyn Museum. He made his debut in Greenport in 1913, settled there and married Antoinette Langlois, who earned money with her musical talents. The couple lived frugally, without a car, in a quaint two-story home. Although he earned some reputation at first, the Depression saw his career tumble. He became more and more reclusive but continued painting, creating a chronicle of plein-air landscapes of his native region during the time he lived there. In more recent times there has been a rekindling of interest in his works and this caused a dramatic move upward in the prices that were achieved both on the retail gallery side of sales as well as the auction prices achieved for this artist. The interest in his work as a regional artist from the north fork of Long Island continues to the present day with the presentation of the life and works of Hubbard offered in a small building of the Greenport Historical Society and in the
Southold Museum. Below find a seascape by Hubbard that is currently available.