Anna Hyatt Huntington , Yawning Tiger, n.d. Bronze with patina, 8 ½ x 7 x 28 in, The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

A Grand Menagerie: The Sculpture of Anna Hyatt Huntington

Anna Hyatt Huntington

April 20, 2024 - October 6, 2024
  • Anne Noland Edwards Gallery
free

About the exhibition

A Grand Menagerie: The Sculpture of Anna Hyatt Huntington examines the work of this pioneering early 20th-century sculptor, bringing together nearly one hundred works from over 30 museums across the United States. Huntington (1876 –1973) was an internationally celebrated sculptor in her time. Born Anna Vaughn Hyatt in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the artist attended some classes at the Art Students League in New York City, but was largely self-taught. By 1906, the Metropolitan Museum of Art had made the first of several acquisitions of her work.

In 1923, Hyatt married philanthropist, poet, and arts patron Archer M.Huntington, son of railroad magnate and Newport News shipyard founder Collis P. Huntington. In 1930, Archer founded the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, and Anna created a number of works for the grounds, including the locally-beloved Lions Bridge sculptures. In 1931, the couple founded Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, a sculpture garden and nature preserve where many of her large sculptures are installed on permanent display.

This exhibition presents the contributions of Anna Hyatt Huntington to a broader audience, including the Newport News community where the artist made significant contributions. Best known for her remarkably realistic sculptures of animals, the artist enjoyed a thriving career producing both small-scale collectibles as well as monumental public sculptures, a pursuit undertaken by very few women of her day. 

Huntington's keen scientific interest in capturing the anatomy of animals was matched only by her ability to render them in both graphic detail and dynamic action. Depicting domesticated animals as well as more exotic specimens including monkeys, elephants, and lions, Huntington’s works are outstanding within the tradition of classical figurative sculpture.

Selected works

Sponsors

Deepest thanks to George and Mary Torggler for their tremendous commitment to elevating the visual arts at the Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center.

Special thanks to our generous exhibition sponsors:

 Premier Sponsor

Anne and Gus Edwards 

 Presenting Sponsors

Jennifer Dunn ‘95 and Damon Saetre | Randolph D. Rouse Foundation | Gina Fitzhugh Wilson  

 With additional support from

Ramona and Robert Deal | William and Janice Grace | Mary Katherine Evans Hogg

Ann Hunnicutt | Elizabeth Holt ‘79 Larry King Law

Terri ‘86 and Matt McKnight | Patricia’02 and Dan Mooza Mary Neale

Newport News Arts Commission 

Related events

July 13, 2024
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Tour | Hunting for Huntingtons

SOLD OUT! STAY TUNED FOR ADDITIONAL TOUR DATES IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
From Collis P. Huntington’s founding of the railroad and shipyard in Newport News during the late 19th century, to Archer Huntington’s founding of the Mariners’ Museum, to Anna Hyatt Huntington’s “Lions Bridge” sculptures of the 1930s, the Huntington family has had a profound impact on the community of Newport News. Join us for series of talks (and a city tour) with City of Newport News historian and curator J. Michael Moore, exploring the history of the Huntington family in Newport News.
Join us for this unique collaborative program offered in conjunction with the City of Newport News. Participants will board one of the City’s new trolleys for a multi-stop tour of sites and spaces related to the legacy of the Huntington family in Newport News. The tour will examine sites related to Collis P. Huntington, founder of the shipyard; his son Archer Huntington, founder of the Mariners’ Museum; and Anna Hyatt Huntington, whose work is currently on view at the Torggler in the exhibition, A Grand Menagerie. Historian and City curator J. Michael Moore will be our primary guide on this fascinating historical journey.

image of Arabella and Collis P. Huntington , Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America.
July 13, 2024
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Anna: A Theatrical Monologue

In conjunction with A Grand Menagerie: The Sculpture of Anna Hyatt Huntington, the Torggler and Theater CNU have collaborated to produce a theatrical monologue based on the life of Anna Hyatt Huntington. The performance stars theater student Cora Barr as Anna, who muses on her history and inspiration in this “moving” performance in the gallery. Anna was written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Kathleen Cahill and directed by Theater CNU professor Denise Gillman. 
 
Please note the performance requires moving through the gallery. Portable gallery stools are available on a first-come, first-served basis. While not required, we recommend that you call us at 757-594-0800 to reserve your place at a performance.

Performances, which are free and open to the public, will occur on the following dates throughout the summer:


Wednesday, July 17 at 12 p.m.
Saturday, July 27 at 10 a.m.
Wednesday, July 31 at 12 p.m.

 

Cora as Anna Hyatt Huntington, Torggler Fine Arts Center
July 18, 2024
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lecture | The History of the Huntington Family

From Collis P. Huntington’s founding of the railroad and shipyard in Newport News during the late 19th century, to Archer Huntington’s founding of the Mariners’ Museum, to Anna Hyatt Huntington’s “Lions Bridge” sculptures of the 1930s, the Huntington family has had a profound impact on the community of Newport News. Join us for a series of talks with City of Newport News historian and curator Michael Moore exploring the history of the Huntington family in Newport News.
Torggler Lecture Hall 

Arabella Huntington, c. 1880 and Collis P. Huntington, 1879,
August 1, 2024
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lecture | Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington in Newport News

From Collis P. Huntington’s founding of the railroad and shipyard in Newport News during the late 19th century, to Archer Huntington’s founding of the Mariners’ Museum, to Anna Hyatt Huntington’s “Lions Bridge” sculptures of the 1930s, the Huntington family has had a profound impact on the community of Newport News. Join us for a series of talks with City of Newport News historian and curator Michael Moore exploring the history of the Huntington family in Newport News.
Torggler Lecture Hall 

Image of stone lion sculpture by sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington,
September 12, 2024
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Talk | Garden Sculpture, Women’s Networks, and the Career of Anna Hyatt Huntington

Join us to learn more about Anna Hyatt Huntington’s work within the context of the garden statuary during the early 20th century. Hyatt Huntington created a number of works specifically for garden settings, and generally felt that sculpture was best experienced in the natural environment. She and her husband Archer founded one of the country’s most expansive sculpture gardens in Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.
Emily Ann Francisco, who contributed an essay to the Torggler’s exhibition catalog for A Grand Menagerie, is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Delaware. Her forthcoming dissertation examines the ways that gardens, nature, and issues of gender shaped the careers of women sculptors from 1876 to 1950. In addition to her studies, Emily is Curatorial Associate for the Collection in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, where she works primarily on permanent collection projects and installations.
Torggler Lecture Hall

image of Youthful Diana by Anna Hyatt Huntington in an outdoor ,
September 26, 2024
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Talk and Reception | Brookgreen Gardens: The Living Legacy of Anna Hyatt Huntington

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Page Kiniry, President and CEO of Brookgreen Gardens (and former director of the Virginia Living Museum) and Robin Salmon, VP of Collections and Curator of Sculpture at Brookgreen. Brookgreen Gardens, founded by Anna and Archer Huntington in 1931, is dedicated to American figurative sculpture and the flora and fauna of the Southeast. Brookgreen holds the most extensive collection of Anna Hyatt Huntington’s work in the country, and was a major lender to the Torggler’s current exhibition. Mark your calendar and join us for a convivial reception followed by a talk by Page and Robin in conjunction with the exhibition, A Grand Menagerie: The Sculpture of Anna Hyatt Huntington.
Reception: 5 pm  |  Lecture: 6 pm  |  Torggler Lecture Hall 

entrance to Brookgreen Gardens in SC.,
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