Grace Huntley Pugh
Pugh was born on September 25, 1912 in Schenectady, NY to Grace Lake and Grant Huntley and was raised in Rockville Centre on Long Island, NY. She attended Wellesley College and was graduated from Barnard College in 1934 with a BA in History of Art and Architecture. She then pursued graduate studies in NYC at the National Academy of Design Art School, the Art Students League, and the Parsons School of Design.
While studying art, Grace was also a Powers fashion model and modeled for her teacher and mentor, renowned painter, Leon Kroll. She is memorialized in his mural, "The Defeat of Justice," for the Main Office of the Attorney General in the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. Thanks to the recommendation of Mr. Kroll who had his summer studio in Lanesville, Grace's first job was as artist-in-residence and head of the art department of Briarcliff Junior College in New York. It was then, in the summer of 1938, that she first visited Cape Ann at the suggestion of Mr. Kroll and her grandmother, Samantha Littlefield Huntley, who was a prominent portrait painter known both here and abroad and who, at the suggestion of her instructor, John Henry Twachtman, had summered in Annisquam and painted on Cape Ann years earlier.
She was married on September 21, 1940 and moved to Pittsburg where she painted and worked at the Carnegie Institute. With the onset of World War II and her husband’s deployment in the Navy, she returned to New York and became an art director at Young and Rubicam, the advertising agency in New York City.
Following the war, she and her husband moved to Mamaroneck, NY, a Westchester suburb of NYC, where she was the founding president of the Mamaroneck Artists Guild, which first met in her backyard "Windhorse Studio" and, besides teaching art, painting Mamaroneck Harbor and her daughter Gigi among other subjects, was involved with multiple community art, historic preservation, and conservation projects through the decades – all of which she received great acclaim on multiple occasions for her vision, leadership, spirit, and generosity to the community.
There have been many Grace Huntley Pugh days in Mamaroneck, and she has received multiple proclamations honoring her contributions to the community, including from the President of the United States.
She was 97 and one of the longest standing members of the Rockport Art Association with a membership extending back to 1944 and a member of the American Watercolor Society.