JOHN W. HATCH
"VICTORY JOE MANILA"
EGG TEMPERA ON MASONITE, SIGNED
AMERICAN, DATED 1947
21 X 31.5 INCHES
This award winning work appeared on the cover of "New Hampshire Arts" October 1997 Volume XV Number 4 when Hatch received the 1997 Living Treasure Governor's Arts Award.
Note: The first signs of PEACE blossomed in downtown Manila which had been completely destroyed by the retreating Japanese.
Within the ruins of modern concrete stores and from their tile floors there arose a vigorous "sin city" catering to the desires and weaknesses of the victorious Americans.
Housed in shacks of woven bamboo, roofed with salvaged corrugated tin, this colorful sub-culture is seen in sharp contrast to the reality of the daily struggle of the average Philippino to survive amidst the rubble. The old woman selling candles came to symbolize, for me, the essence of stoic survival. John W. Hatch.
This is a combination of seveal biographies.
During his fifty-year career as an artist, John Woodsum Hatch explored the people, the landscape, and the seascape around him. From his extensive travels to his years in New Hampshire, he developed a body of work that captures a sense of place. Through watercolor, ink and sand, he depicted the grandeur of the White Mountains. The crisp light and distinct topography of the Isles of Shoals and Great Bay Estuary are precisely and clearly documented in acrylic and tempera paintings. His ability to convey the sheer scale and longevity of the mountains and sea, and by comparison the fleeting nature of human life, conveys in a not-so-subtle way that the natural environment is to be revered and preserved.
Hatch took his first teaching job at the University of New Hampshire in1949, the same year he graduated from Yale University. He never left. A former student, Sam Cady, described his contributions: “He was a wonderful mix of jokester and sage. A teacher who obviously loved people, loved teaching, and had a great gift for it.” After retiring in 1985, he was made an honorary Professor Emeritus at UNH.
Hatch contributed to New Hampshire's cultural life in three areas: his teaching, his art, and his community service. His effectiveness in these three areas can be traced his commitment to give something of himself to help others. Many artists teach by necessity and resent it as a drain on their creative energies but Hatch found his greatest fulfillment from a combination of teaching, making art, and being deeply involved with his community as an art historian and as an environmentalist.
Hatch’s work can be seen in numerous public collections, including: the Addison Gallery of American Art; DeCordova Museum; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; State of New Hampshire's Living Treasures Collection, and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. John Woodsum Hatch, New Hampshire's 1997 Living Treasure Award recipient, died on August 6,1998, at the age of 78.