Maude Hutchins

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Maude Phelps McVeigh Hutchins (1899 – 28 March 1991) was an American novelist and artist born in New York City, the daughter of Warren Ratcliff McVeigh, an editor at the New York Sun, and Maude Phelps.[1]

Family life[edit]

Maude and her sister were orphaned at a young age and raised by their aunt, a prominent member of Long Island society and by her grandparents in Bayshore on Long Island.[1] She was married in 1921 to Robert Maynard Hutchins who went on to become University of Chicago president.[2] Previous to the UofC presidency, Mr. Hutchins was on the faculty of Yale University and Mrs. Hutchins had enrolled in the Yale School of Fine Arts and completed a five-year degree in 3 1/2 years. They had three children:[3] Mary Frances, Joanna Blessing and Clarissa Phelps, before divorcing in 1948.[1] After her marriage ended, she moved with two of her three daughters to Connecticut, began writing, and published nine novels.


Maude Hutchins received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 1926.[1]


Maude Hutchins became a professional artist in 1924. She had her first art show at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York City. A drawing from her 1932 work, Diagrammatics, which she co-published with Mortimer J. Adler, was enlarged and displayed as a mural in the Hall of Science at the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago, Illinois.[1]

Shows and exhibits[edit]

According to a Chicago Sunday Tribune article of June 21, 1942, Maude Phelps Hutchins had shows and exhibits in the following museums and galleries:[1]


She is considered one of the foremost practitioners of nouveau roman in the English language.[5] Hutchins is best known today for her sexual coming-of-age novel Victorine,[2] which was republished in 2008 by New York Review Books Classics.[6] Other novels include Blood on the Doves and The Unbelievers Downstairs.[7]


  • Diagrammatics (1932) co-published with Mortimer J. Adler
  • Georgiana (1948)
  • A Diary of Love (1950)
  • Love is a Pie (1952)
  • My Hero (1953)
  • The Memoirs of Maisie (1955)
  • Victorine (1959)
  • The Elevator (1962) (Short story collection)
  • Honey on the Moon (1964)
  • Blood on the Doves (1965)
  • The Unbelievers Downstairs (1967)


Maude Hutchins was an accomplished amateur pilot.


Hutchins died in Fairfield, Connecticut on March 28, 1991.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wendt, Lloyd (June 21, 1942). "The Midway's Versatile First Lady". The Chicago Tribune. 
  2. ^ a b Walker, Andrea (12 August 2008). "In Praise of Wanton Women". The New Yorker. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Dzuback, Mary Ann, Robert M. Hutchins: Portrait of an Educator, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1991
  4. ^ Sturdy, M.F. (2015-05-05). "An Exhibition of Sculpture, Paintings and Drawings by Maude Phelps Hutchins" (Press release). Chicago, Illinois: Albert Roullier Art Galleries. 
  5. ^ Nin, Anais, The Novel of the Future, p. 166, Macmillan, New York, New York, 1968
  6. ^ Castle, Terry. "Victorine". New York Review Books. New York Review Books. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Books: Short Notices: May 26, 1967". Time. 26 May 1967. Retrieved 16 April 2015.