The Estate of Celia Thaxter Hubbard The Cambridge and Brewster, Massachusetts Estate of Celia Thaxter Hubbard features her lifetime collection of Folk Art, Furniture, Decorative Objects, Paintings, Jewelry, and more.
News-Antique.com - Jul 21,2014 - Dedham, MA: On Friday, August 1st, Grogan and Company will conduct an auction featuring a wide array of items from the Estate of Celia Thaxter Hubbard. The contents of her Cambridge and Brewster, Massachusetts homes include a vast collection of folk art, decorative arts, paintings, American furniture, silver, and jewelry. There will be approximately three hundred catalogued lots followed by a selection of discovery items drawn from her collection.
Celia Thaxter Hubbard (1920-2013) was an artist, writer, photographer, and founder of the acclaimed Botolph Group on Newbury Street in Boston. A leading figure in Boston’s art world throughout the second half of the 20th century, Hubbard fostered the careers of artists including Sister Corita Kent, Rita DeLisi, Norman Laliberte, Tomie dePaola, and Robert Cronin.
A Boston and Cambridge native, Hubbard began her career in New York City working in advertising before moving to France where she satisfied her creative side as a set and costume designer for the Grand Ballet du Marquis De Cuevas. While in France, Hubbard abandoned her Protestant upbringing and converted wholeheartedly to Catholicism, and even considered becoming a Carmelite nun. While she never pursued the sisterhood, her faith would direct her future as an artist and a devout supporter of the arts throughout her lifetime.
Two years after returning to Boston, Hubbard founded the Botolph Group on Newbury Street in 1954 as a nonprofit center and gallery with a mission to improve the standard of Catholic religious art, objects, and spaces. The gallery quickly gained nationwide recognition for its annual exhibition of Corita’s work. In 1969, the director of the Boston Theological Institute described the Botolph Group as “a rallying place, an identifying symbol, for many Catholics, Protestants, and many of no church, who feel instinctively that a center which has good taste, reflects a zest for life…is speaking to their hearts and minds.”
After two decades of success, Hubbard closed the doors of the Botolph Group to focus on her own creative efforts in painting, photography, poetry, metaphysics, antiques, and folk arts. Hubbard’s obituary in the Cambridge Day described her as “a deeply spiritual woman who filled notebooks with poems and reflections, Miss Hubbard was fascinated by hearts, doves, owls, rainbows, sunsets, trucks, dogs and small children, all of which made their way into her paintings and photographs.” Her collection reflects her enthusiasm for life and ability to find beauty and soul in objects from the past.
Hubbard’s extraordinary eye for folk art is exemplified by highlights in the auction including a whimsical and patriotic Elaborately Painted Wood Whirlygig featuring “Uncle Sam” estimated at $1,500-2,500. A collection of 19th century weathervanes include a Banner Weatherwane and a Sheet Iron Two Sided Painted Weathervane each bearing an $800-1,200 estimate. Additional folk art highlights include a selection of Trade Signs, a large collection of Primitive Wooden Toys and Decorative Objects, and a selection of Painted Game Boards.
Through her relationship with artists and her aptitude for collecting, Hubbard amassed a notable assemblage of paintings from all periods