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Alice Hugy (1876-1971)


Minnesota impressionist Alice Hugy was born in Solothurn, Switzerland on Jan. 2, 1876.  At the age of 6 she moved with her uncle and his family to St. Paul, Minnesota. She began her studies in art as a teenager at St. Paul’s School of Fine Arts and pursued further training in New York where she lived for five years.


In 1910 she exhibited for the first time at the Minnesota State Fair; later Hügy exhibited a watercolor entitled Trees and Snow at the Art Institute of Chicago (1928) and Flower Arrangement two years later at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  Meanwhile Hügy was active as a commercial artist, and she was involved in WPA projects during the Depression.  During her career, Hugy established the first art gallery in St. Paul, was involved with the St. Paul art colony, and associated with artists Paul Manship, Edward Brewer and Clement Haupers.


Her joyful and colorful still lifes celebrate the beauty of nature, while her modest landscapes of Lake Phalen and those overlooking the Mississippi River record scenes familiar to this day.  Hugy's philosophy of art was quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 5, 1967.  "There is no delight greater than the delight of creating something -- something all your own which expresses you, apart from every other human being ... this satisfaction is what art does for the artist ... the expression of beauty in art is as important to a human experience as any other. ... Art is the response to the beauty and wonders of the world in which we live."


Hugy died on January 24, 1971, at the age of 95.

Alice Hugy is featured, along with seven other renowned Minnesota artists (Wanda Gag, Clara Mairs, Elsa Laubach Jemne, Frances Greenman, Evelyn Raymond, Jo Lutz Rollins and Ada Wolfe), in a book entitled "Pioneer Modernists - Minnesota's First Generation of Women Artists."  This beautiful book, published by Afton Press, is available for purchase at Gallery 5004.

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