Dimensions: 51”l x 16”w x 22”h
Peter Hunt (1896 – 1967) was an American artist whose work is most widely associated with folk-art and primitive-art painted furniture. He gained recognition in Provincetown in the ‘40s and ‘50s when his decorated, refinished furniture was featured in magazines such as Life, House Beautiful and Mademoiselle.
Peter Hunt moved to Provincetown, MA in the late 1920s with his parents and an artistic pedigree—his father, Edward C. Hunt, was a painter whose naïve oil painting Peter Hunt's Antique Shop, 1930-34 was acquired by the MOMA in 1941.
By the 1930s, Peter Hunt’s business included several storefronts and a workshop space called "Peter Hunt's Peasant Village" where he painted old furniture, household items, and fabrics, decorating them with colorful peasant designs reminiscent of Pennsylvania German and French Provincial folk art. Hearts, flowers, fruits, birds, angels, and pretty maidens and their suitors adorned hutches, tables, chairs, wooden trays, tins, and other items. Hunt further embellished some of those pieces with pseudo-French phrases scrawled across their surfaces.
With his artistic talent, good looks, charm, wit, and knack for outrageous storytelling, Hunt delighted wealthy matrons and high-society tastemakers vacationing on Cape Cod. They found him irresistible, and his cheerful designs the perfect look for their summer cottages.
Hunt employed young artists to decorate pieces in his signature style, and upscale New York department stores began carrying his pieces. He designed the "Cape Cod Room" restaurant of Chicago's Drake Hotel in 1935, bringing Cape Cod artifacts and painting murals of the sea. His fame and popularity grew when he encouraged women to re-make furniture during the economically challenging times of the Great Depression and World War II, and the book Peter Hunt's Workbook was published in 1945.
When interest in the peasant style waned in the ‘50s, Hunt sold his Peasant Village shops and moved to Orleans, Cape Cod where he opened a shop called Peacock Alley. Sadly, he died almost penniless in 1967. Today Hunt's works are collectible and sell at auction for up to thousands of dollars.