William Morris Hunt
1824 - 1879
William Morris Hunt was a pivotal figure in the history of American art, introducing to Boston and the United States to key ideas from the Barbizon School in France, which laid the foundation for Impressionism. Hunt was a gifted painter and a gifted teacher; not only did John La Farge receive private art instruction from him in Newport in the late 1850s, but so did both William and Henry James. His muted tones, disciplined palette and introspective subjects influenced a wide range of other painters, from Thomas Eakins to Winslow Homer. Hunt was also responsible for introducing a number of artists to Cape Ann, having established a summer studio in Gloucester's Magnolia neighborhood. In 1868 he opened his art classes to women, and attracted a large following among the wives and daughters of Boston’s most powerful families.