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Event to Benefit Harland Hubbard's Fort Thomas Studio

Harlan Hubbard was born in Bellevue but he formed his ideas about living an isolated life living off the land, inspired by Henry David Thoreau, in his Fort Thomas studio that he built from reclaimed materials.

Hubbard Studio in Fort Thomas, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is in need of some restorative work to the brick exterior. This prompted a fundraiser like no other - exhibiting Harland Hubbard’s seldom seen and never before exhibited works of art. 

"Behringer-Crawford Museum is pleased and proud to partner with the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy as we share works from our Harlan Hubbard collection with the community in support of the restoration of his Fort Thomas studio," said Laurie Risch, Behringer-Crawford Museum executive director. 

Hubbard’s favorite subject was his beloved Ohio River.

"Harlan Hubbard’s work captures everyday moments in time, quiet days on the river, simple scenes of riverboats, buildings and landscapes. Like the life that he and Anna lived, his woodcuts, sketches and paintings are humble, yet they document beautifully the way our Northern Kentucky world looked in the past- and in many ways, still looks today -- preserving and celebrating it," Risch said.

After a multi-year journey floating on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers the Hubbards settled in Payne Hollow, Kentucky where they lived a sophisticated yet rustic life for the next forty years. Harlan Hubbard’s book, Shantyboat, was a New York Times bestseller. 

“He entertained reporters from around the world as well as students, artists, and writers. But he always loved his privacy and the solitude of the river,” said Chuck Keller, Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy Board President.

“He attended many art showings and he was reluctant to sell his work, never thinking it worthy. He knew he walked a razor's edge. He enjoyed his solitude but he equally enjoyed interaction albeit in small degrees. He was a walking contradiction in some ways - as we all are- but he remained true to his core beliefs.”

Hubbard was awarded the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is in the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. Many Fort Thomas residents recall Hubbard and his wife, Anna, as a sweet but eccentric couple. But as they lived according to their principles, their lives became a work of art and a subject of national curiosity.

Here are the event details:

When: Friday, November 8, 2019

What Time: 6:00 - 9:30 PM

Cost: $40 FTFC.org 

[email protected]

Where: Headquarters Historic Event Center

935 Monmouth St, Newport

-Staff report