After his initial 1915 visit to Vermont, Hibbard returned every winter, eventually settling into a home near East Jamaica with his wife Winifred, whom he married in 1925, and their two children. He continued to explore the state in search of inspiration, from the streams, forests and mountains of southern Vermont’s West River Valley to the secluded hamlets near the Canadian border. Near South Londonderry, Winhall shows a quiet farmstead set near a half-frozen river and nestled among the drifts of snow that drew Hibbard back to Vermont each winter; the tranquility of the scene is enriched by the wisp of smoke coming from a chimney, attesting to the warmth being enjoyed by the inhabitants on a chilly Vermont day.
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Trained at the Boston Museum School, Hibbard carried forth the tenets of traditional academic art into the 20th century. He exhibited widely in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, and launched himself in the Boston art world with a one-man exhibition at the Boston Art Club in 1916. Three years later, a show of his winter scenes at the Guild of Boston Artists received glowing reviews.
Hibbard had long been interested in snow-covered landscapes, and at the recommendation of fellow Boston artist and Fenway Studios resident William J. Kaula, he first traveled to Vermont in 1915 and was immediately taken with the mountains, valleys, and charming residents of the region. By the 1930s, Hibbard established a schedule of spending the winter months in Vermont, and the rest of the year in Rockport, Massachusetts, where he had earlier established the Rockport Summer School of Drawing and Painting. He grew to become a legendary member of the North Shore artists’ colony.
A leader in the community, he remained active in nearby Boston, and in 1965 the Guild of Boston Artists, where Hibbard had exhibited for 45 years, mounted a retrospective exhibition of his work.
Collection of Winifred Hibbard, the artist’s widow, Rockport, Massachusetts
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 25384, March 1978
To private collection, Buckhannon, West Virginia, January 1979 to June 1990
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 30012, June 1990
To private collection, Denver, Colorado, February 1991 to present
- (top stretcher, in pencil) #317
- (top stretcher, in pencil) 159
- (visible through wax lining on verso of canvas upper left) #159
- Previous Vose Galleries label, inventory no. 25384 (crossed out, with 30012 handwritten next to it)
- Previous Vose Galleries label, inventory no. 30012
- Stamp on frame: Hilliard Frame Shop, Rockport, Mass.