ANNA FALCONNET HUNTERAmerican, 1855-1941
New England Impressionist landscape, figure and portrait painter, Anna Falconnet Hunter was born in 1855 in Newport, Rhode Island. She was the daughter of Captain Charles Hunter, USN—whose father was a senator and minister to Brazil, and Mary Stockton Rotch Hunter—grand-daughter of Justice Richard Stockton, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Anna sailed with her parents and two of her three sisters on the ill-fated steamer Ville du Havre which sank on November 22, 1873 on its way to France, taking Captain and Mrs. Hunter and their daughter Caroline down with it. Anna and sister Mary survived by clinging to a chair that remained afloat until they were rescued. Anna resided all her life in the family home built by her father at 20 Kay Street, near Bull Street in Newport (now the Bayberry Inn). The house was furnished with family portraits, some painted by Gilbert Stuart and John Singleton Copley. Anna Hunter was described during her lifetime as “an energetic philanthropist.” She studied painting with Theodore Wendel in Newport from 1883 to 1884. Hunter specialized in oils. Her work was exhibited at the National Academy of Design, Boston Art Club, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She invited Hudson River painters and others to her Newport studio to give talks, and opened a school in Newport, offering the highest quality art instruction of the day. Both John Twachtman and Wendel taught at the school during the summer of 1889, “imparting principles of the very new aesthetic of Impressionism.” Hunter’s work is in the collections of the Georgia Museum of Art and the Telfair Museum of Art.