At the Wedding; Preparatory/transfer sketch for the etching At the Wedding
Alfred Hutty’s At the Wedding is an excellent example of a Southern urban genre scene. Though the image is charming and ordinary in its character, closer investigation reveals significant social and historical interest. It records a newlywed bride and groom, with their attendant guests, framed by the façade and staircase of a weathered Charleston tenement. The landmark home (no longer standing) was located on the west side of the Charleston peninsula and had once been a residence of the city’s affluent and influential Pinckney family. It later became the rectory of Grace Episcopal Church. During Reconstruction, the building and its surrounding neighborhood provided affordable housing options for the city’s economically disenfranchised African American community. This historical transition seems to have invested the house with a particular iconic and symbolic appeal, evidenced in the art it inspired others to create. Alfred Hutty produced the same composition (with a few modifications) in print, as did several other Southern and itinerant artists in the 1930s (namely; Elizabeth White, Yngve Edward Soderberg, and Ada Vorhaus Gabriel). The building, known locally as “the Mansion”, was demolished by Charleston city officials around 1940 during a racially-motivated municipal gentrification project. Its former lot on Beaufain Street is now the landscaped plaza of Memminger Auditorium.
Hutty, Albert Heber
Wright Collection of Southern Art
Still Image Item Type Metadata
watercolor on paper; pencil on paper
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