Essay by Robert C. Vose, Jr.
William Morris Hunt (1824-1879)
In a tale that has long been passed down through the Vose Family, William Morris Hunt stopped at Seth Vose’s shop in Providence, Rhode Island to buy some artist’s materials. While waiting for them to be wrapped, he parted the curtains closing off a rear gallery. When Seth reappeared, Hunt rushed up to him excitedly exclaiming, “Where did you get them? How did you get them? These are the first Barbizon paintings I have seen in this country beside those I brought over myself!” This shared enthusiasm for the work of the Barbizon artists led Hunt and Seth Vose to a similar group of acquaintances. The collectors often listed as having been infected by Hunt’s enthusiasm were without exception clients of Seth Vose-who had formed several Barbizon collections in Providence. 130 years after that first meeting the family of Seth Vose and the family of William Morris Hunt were able to present The Return of William Morris Hunt, featuring works from the estate of the artist.