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Arts & Artists  

robert hughesRobert Hughes

Robert 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.

In 1989, 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."

Throughout 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.

Although 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.

In 2002, , 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 in Arizona.

hughes artwork

One of 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.

Hughes passed away on May 29th, 2004. He is survived by his wife, Marie, a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren.

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Last updated: February 12, 2015

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