James F. Hutchinson

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James F. Hutchinson (born 1932) is a painter. He was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2011.[1]

Early years[edit]

Hutchinson graduated from Martin County High School in 1950. He met his wife Joan while attending Florida State University.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Hutchinson's brother-in-law A. E. "Beanie" Backus, who was married to Hutchinson's sister Patsy, often had James and Joan over for painting, socializing, and listening to live jazz. Some of these gatherings included a variety of people such as Zora Neale Hurston, Bob Cushman, and Art Pottorff. Backus and Hutchinson were very close friends in the 1950s and remained so up to Backus' death. They traveled to Jamaica and all over the Florida coast, painting many beautiful landscapes back to back.[2]

In the 1950s and 1960s, The Highwaymen, a group of African-American artists including Alfred Hair and Harold Newton, became close friends of Backus and Hutchinson. The Highwaymen emulated the art they saw in Backus' studio and sold quick, stylized pieces on Highway US 1 and A1A. Although Backus and Hutchinson admired and supported the energy put into the Highwaymen's work, they kept to their own entrenched and studied styles.

Once married, James and Joan Hutchinson lived in the now historic Golden Gate Building in Golden Gate, Florida, when the Owen K. Murphy Foundation and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations offered them the opportunity to live on the Brighton Seminole Reservation, where Hutchinson painted the Seminole and Miccosukee people in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Hutchinsons lived on the reservation with the Seminoles for four to six years, producing 10 paintings a year for the State of Florida, resulting in 50 paintings depicting the Native Americans. During that time, Hutchinson became close friends with many of the Seminole elders, such as Billy Bowlegs, Charlie Cypress, Charlotte Tommy, and Billy Osceola.

In the mid-1990s, the Hutchinsons moved to Hawaii, where James studied and painted many Hawaiian scenes depicting the native Hawaiians, as well as the scenic beauty of the islands.

After many years in Hawaii, the Hutchinsons returned to their original home in Sewalls Point, Florida in late 2011. Since their return, Hutchinson has been featured in several shows both private and public along the Treasure Coast, including showings at The Elliott Museum, Singer Island, Jupiter Island Town Hall, and many galleries in Miami and Palm Beach.


Hutchinson's work is exhibited at many Florida museums and throughout the world, including at the Florida Governor's Mansion, the Florida Capitol, Brighton Seminole Reservation, Miccosukee Reservation, Norwegian National Museum in Oslo, James Hutchinson Foundation of the Loewe Gallery at the University of Miami, and the Hawaii Preparatory Academy Art Gallery.[3] He continues to live in Sewalls Point, Florida.[4]


  1. ^ James F. Hutchinson Florida Artists Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Peterson, Olive Dame (1984). A.E. Backus Florida Artist. p. 53. 
  3. ^ Joe Crankshaw Hutchinson painted Florida landscapes, Seminole people, Native Americans, Hawaiian landscapes and seascapes, and portraits. Friday, March 25, 2011 TCPalm (Treasure Coast)
  4. ^ Jonathan Mattise Stuart native James Hutchinson inducted into Florida Artists Hall of Fame Wednesday, March 23, 2011 TCPalm (Treasure Coast)

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