Hughes was born in 1915 in Providence, Rhode Island and graduated
from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1939. After college
he moved to Berlin, New Hampshire where he began his 43-year
teaching career in the town's public schools. In the 1960s,
he worked as a graphic designer and received a John Hays Fellowship.
In acknowledgment of his impact on Berlin High School's Art
Department, Hughes was named the State of New Hampshire Teacher
of the Year in 1975.
The Rhode Island School of Design honored Hughes with the
"Alumni of the Year" award. In 1991 the State of
New Hampshire honored him again as Living Treasure at the
biennial Governors Arts Awards. In the same year he was featured
on New Hampshire Crossroads and in the documentary film, "The
City that Trees Built."
his career Hughes has been an active participant in many Great
North Woods celebrations and programs including the North
Country Chamber Players' Summer Festival, Music in the Schools,
Festival DuBois and a founding member of the White Mountain
Arts and Music Festival.
primarily a sculptor, Hughes has worked in many different
media including woodcuts. His works are on permanent display
in the New Hampshire State Library and the Living Treasures
exhibit in Concord, NH, the New Hampshire State Prison in
Berlin, NH, the Coos County Courthouse in Lancaster, NH and
the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton, NH. Nationally
his artwork can be found in many private and public collections
in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Hughes had a solo
exhibition in 2000 at the Urban Architecture Institute in
New York City and his recent exhibit in 2001 was at the ArtSpace
in Birmingham, Michigan.
, Hughes was chosen to create an ornament for the White House
Christmas Tree based on the theme "All Creatures Great
and Small," and invited to create the Governors Arts
Award Living Treasure Award for 2003 (see image below), the same honor he had
received in 1991. His award was given to artists Edwin and
Mary Scheier, long-time residents of New Hampshire now living
the many ways the memory of Robert Hughes will live on is
through his teachings. He taught generations of successful
artists in the Great North Woods and White Mountains through
Berlin's public schools, master classes, and at his home studio.
passed away on May 29th, 2004. He is survived by his wife,
Marie, a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren.
to "In Memory" main page
January 20, 2015