Introduction

Aldro T. Hibbard (or A.T. Hibbard) (American, 1886 – 1972) is an artist best known for his paintings of Vermont in the wintertime. Though he certainly was not the first artist to paint in Vermont, his influence on later artists who traveled to the Green Mountain State was immense. In the wintry landscapes of snowy Vermont, Hibbard found enthralling subject matter. His paintings grew popular in the art market, and his style inspired many others. As a result, Hibbard stands at the fore of an artistic movement often called “The Vermont School“.

Portrait of A.T. Hibbard
Portrait of A.T. Hibbard. Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum, #J0001715

Biography

Born in 1886 in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Hibbard studied art at various schools in Massachusetts before moving up to Jamaica, Vermont. While many New England artists would migrate south in the wintertime, seeking out warmer climes in Florida, the Bahamas, or elsewhere, Hibbard found inspiration in the snowy landscapes of his home in rural Vermont. The rich, earthy colors and hues, juxtaposed with the brilliant white of freshly-fallen snow, connected in Hibbard’s paintings to make incredibly enduring scenes of the New England countryside. Hibbard also found inspiration in Rockport, Massachusetts, just as many artists, such as Emile Gruppe, had before him. He painted wintry scenes there as well, mixing his love of snow and landscape with the allure of maritime subjects. Hibbard died in Rockport in 1972.

A.T. Hibbard’s Style

Nest Egg Auctions has had the opportunity to sell a wonderful oil painting by A.T. Hibbard. In this painting, Hibbard shows a stream that meanders its way through the snowy ground of a Vermont winter. We are almost able to hear the water as it flows, blue and white with the churning and turning over the rocks of the stream bed. Young white birches, stripped of their leaves by the cold, jut out of the bank, while evergreens and deciduous trees stand in the background in a mix of green, brown, red, and yellow. This painting is not only a testament to Hibbard’s artistry, but also an ode to New England winters. A lifelong New Englander (like the author) looks at the painting and can feel the cold, biting air on their face and numbness on their fingertips. Hibbard captures a feeling and sensation as well as an image.

Vermont Winter Landscape Painting by A.T. Hibbard
A.T. Hibbard, "Vermont Winter". Ca. mid 20th century. Oil on Board.

The Vermont School

A.T. Hibbard’s paintings inspired countless artists, who have turned to the quiet beauty of Vermont and New England winters. Nest Egg Auctions has sold a number of paintings of Vermont inspired by Hibbard. One particularly interesting example, a watercolor of a Vermont farm in the winter by Thomas R. Curtin (American, 1899 – 1977), shows a scene not unlike what Hibbard would paint. Here, we see a farmhouse and a barn, their roofs covered in a thick layer of snow. Barren trees dot the landscape, sprouting beside a flowing stream, as mountains rise in the background and hold court over the scene at hand. White smoke puffs out of the farmhouse, indicating a warm and cozy fire within the home, and beckoning to the viewer to seek comfortable refuge there.

Vermont Winter Watercolor Painting by Thomas R. Curtin
Thomas R. Curtin, "Rural Landscape in Winter". Ca. mid 20th century. Watercolor on Paper.

Selling A.T. Hibbard & Vermont School Paintings at Nest Egg Auctions

The paintings of A.T. Hibbard and the artists he inspired, including Thomas R. Curtin, speak volumes to New Englanders, and their appeal in this region is nearly universal. As a proud New England auction house, Nest Egg Auctions specializes in the paintings of Vermont artists like Hibbard and Curtin. These pictures reach us on a personal level, and engage us greatly.

If you have a painting by A.T. Hibbard or another Vermont artist, we would love to see it! Please send us a photograph of it, and we would be happy to discuss it with you.