Alfred Heber Hutty was by birth a midwesterner, though his reputation became inextricably linked with Charleston, South Carolina. Born in Grand Haven, Michigan, his aptitude in art earned him a scholarship to the St. Louis School of Fine Arts at the age of fifteen. He also became a designer of stained glass windows in Kansas City following his training, and then worked at the Tiffany Glass Studio in New York City. In 1907, he began study with the landscape painter, Birge Harrison, in Woodstock, New York, and became a regular fixture in the Woodstock Art Colony, where he acquired a summer residence.
Hutty served in World War I and in 1919, he visited Charleston and became enamored of the city. He taught at the Carolina Art Association (now the Gibbes Museum of Art) from 1920-24 and became a vital part of the city’s cultural community, thereafter splitting his time between Charleston and Woodstock.
In Charleston, Hutty befriended local printmakers, DuBose Heyward and John Bennett and began producing etchings in 1921, and was a founding member of the Etcher’s Club, organized in 1923. He garnered national renown as a printmaker and was instrumental in increasing the medium’s popularity, though Hutty was also an accomplished painter in oil and watercolor. His subject matter was most often the local scene—landscapes, street scenes, and vernacular architecture—many of which exhibit a Southern gothic quality. He painted several murals in Charleston and was active in the city’s early preservation movement. He died in Woodstock.
He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; Chicago Society of Etchers; National Academy of Design; and the American Watercolor Society. He was also a member of many organizations including the Society of American Etchers; Allied Artists of America; National Arts Club; American Watercolor Society; the Salmagundi Club, and the Woodstock Art Association. His work can be found in many notable permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta; Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge; Cleveland Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York Public Library; and the Library of Congress.