GEORGE HUGHES (1907-1990)
GEORGE HUGHES (1907-1990)
GEORGE HUGHES (1907-1990)
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GEORGE HUGHES (1907-1990)

Refinishing an Heirloom

GEORGE HUGHES (1907-1990)
Hughes, G.
Refinishing an Heirloom
signed ‘Hughes’ (on the can at lower left)
oil on canvasboard
image, 27 x 21 ¾ in. (68.6 x 55.2 cm.);
overall, 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.)
The artist.
Private collection, acquired from the above.
By descent to the present owner, 1993.
Saturday Evening Post, September 24, 1960, cover illustration.

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Lot Essay

The present work was published as the cover illustration of the September 24, 1960 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. It depicts the parents of the present owner preparing their new apartment, which they would move into after their wedding in June of 1960. Hughes visited during the preparation process as a friend of the bride-to-be’s step father and created the present illustration from photographs taken on his visit.

The Post writes: "We observe here two young people, happily in love with each other and grimly in love with a much-abused Chippendale chest of drawers. Artist George Hughes assures us they're non-beatniks; neither are they 'neatniks.' At any rate, their spiritual blessings probably outweigh their material assets, which are: one marriage certificate approximately as old as the potted plant on the window sill, one college diploma, a great supply of button-down shirts and tennis shoes, several useful wedding gifts, several not-so-useful wedding gifts, something old which they're converting into something new, and the assorted refinishing supplies on display here. There's a certain symbolism in this industrious scene: Don't most newlyweds have to scrape along for the first few years?" (Saturday Evening Post, September 24, 1960, p. 3)

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