Lydia Maria Brewster Hubbard (1849-1911)
Where: Cream Hill
When: around 1890-1900
Hubbard was born and raised in Cornwall, Connecticut. She studied in Litchfield and married Rollin Hubbard in 1869. After her marriage Hubbard and her husband moved briefly to Indiana, and then to Ohio.
Prior to her marriage, during the Civil War, Hubbard taught drawing at the Cream Hill Agricultural School in Cornwall. Later, in Ohio, Hubbard studied with the Toledo Academy of Arts’ Director, Edmund Osthaus, a German artist. In 1883, she was a founding member of the Toledo Art Association, which offered classes and organized exhibits. Hubbard also made annual springtime trips to New York City to study painting, leaving her children in the care of a family servant.
During the 1890s, Hubbard and her children began living at Cream Hill in Cornwall, next door to her parents. Around that time Hubbard began inviting artist friends she had met in her travels to visit Cream Hill in the summers.
In Toledo, Hubbard met the painter James Henry Moser, who married her cousin, Martha Scoville. The Mosers also spent their summers at Cream Hill next door to Martha Scoville Moser’s parents. While in New York, Hubbard became friends with another artist, Ben Foster, and encouraged him to spend his summers in Cornwall, where he rented a house on Cream Hill and later purchased a home on Fox Road. Painter Charles Foster and violinist Ben Gilbert joined the group, creating a lively artists’ colony during the summer months in the 1890s.
While she lived in Connecticut, Hubbard sold pieces and exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York and the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, in both of which she had memberships. The sales of Hubbard’s work garnered her so much income that she was able to pay for her son’s education at Yale with the proceeds.
Sometime after 1900, Hubbard began spending the winters with her daughter, Winifred, in Los Angeles. She painted landscapes at San Juan Capistrano and along the California coastline. She died in Los Angeles in 1911.
Image from the Collection of the Cornwall Historical Society, gift of Betsey Unger and Sarah Jenny