The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 8, 2013

Annual Hobson Pittman exhibit at Blount-Bridgers House


TARBORO — Currently on exhibit at the Blount-Bridgers House is the annual Hobson Pittman exhibit.  The exhibit will remain on exhibit in the Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery now thru March 28.  Hobson Pittman is often remembered for his nostalgic, romantic scenery including the lush floral motifs and scenes that are reminiscent of an era gone by.  With elegant ladies in parlors and ornate Southern interiors as well as the rural scenes, these beautiful works are synonymous with what we see as a Hobson Pittman original.  However, there is more to Hobson Pittman as he was not only an artist or student but a teacher.  He had a great passion for art and this can be seen in the current exhibit, Hobson Pittman: A Teacher’s Influence.  The exhibit features a range of works that include his early student works as well as mid to later career works.  These pieces reflect his experimentation with styles.  Patrons can even see notes from instructors written in margins as well as his notes in a few of the pieces. Many artists will tell you that they keep early works that may have seemed unfinished or sketches or musings.  Why?  Because these preliminary works are the evidence of the brainstorming which leads to the finished works of art.  We are very fortunate to have a number of these works in the permanent collection.   

In addition to a number of works by Hobson Pittman, we are exhibiting works by Pittman’s former students and peers.  As a teacher, Hobson Pittman was gifted for many reasons including as his former student, Dan Miller was quoted as saying, “…he possessed a rare talent for finding the gifted student and leading them towards their own vision.”  This is apparent when viewers see the former students’ work in the current exhibit.  There is such a variety ranging from abstract studies, landscapes, still life studies, and figurative studies.  Pittman was not interested in having his students mimic his style.  Instead, he wanted students to come into their own style.  The current exhibit reflects diverse styles so this alone is evidence that Pittman succeeded in being a mentor and great teacher.  A number of former students continued to correspond with him after they graduated and moved on in their own art careers.  Some of the former students also continued in Pittman’s footsteps as teachers.  

Pittman’s career was marked with many prestigious awards, including the Scheidt Memorial Prize in 1943 from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Brevoort-Eickenmeyer prize at Columbia University and the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts in 1968.   His work is featured at the Pennsylvania Museum of Art where he also taught, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NC Museum of Art, and other prestigious collections.  Throughout the year, you may view other works of art by Hobson Pittman at the Blount-Bridgers House.  There is a “Hobson Pittman” room devoted to the memory of his work.  The room depicts a replica of his studio setting along with sketches and finished works of Hobson Pittman masterpieces.  We hope that you will make a point to visit the current exhibit as well as his studio.  

In addition to exhibiting Hobson Pittman and his students, we are pleased to announce the addition of a portrait of Hobson Pittman for the Hobson Pittman permanent collection.  The commissioned piece is being donated by Ronnie Ellis and Ed & Nancy Roberson in loving memory of Earl Roberson.  Earl was a valued member of our community as a volunteer, historian, and friend.  Nancy Roberson, artist completed the work recently and after the current exhibit ends this particular work of art will be on display permanently outside the Hobson Pittman Memorial Art Gallery.  Everyone is invited to a drop in reception, March 17th, 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Light refreshments will be served.  You may also register for an art workshop for Thursday, March 14th, 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Come join us for a Wine, Design, & Create workshop! Costs are $45/non-members, $35/members.  All art supplies are included along with wine and appetizers.  The theme of the workshop is “Painting Like The Master, Hobson Pittman”.  To register for the workshop, please contact Joyce Turner, Executive Director at You may also contact us at 252-823-4159.  We are located at 130 Bridgers Street, Tarboro, NC.