Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Statue of Hamilton Revisited

Thanks to a recent comment from a good Friend of Robert Ball Hughes in England, I was able clarify why the Statue of Alexander Hamilton was wearing a toga in the woodblock images from 1835 and not in the plaster models. I knew why from my research but had forgotten to include the reason on the webpage.

The Statute of Hamilton, the first marble statue in America, was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1835 in New York. Since this was before the development of photography, the only images that we have are woodblock prints that were published in newspapers and magazines at the time.

Three plaster models of the statue survive in museums today but show Hamilton wearing contemporary clothing and not a toga. According to Wayne Craven, author of “Sculpture in America,” Ball Hughes added a Roman toga to his original conception to conceal a flaw that was revealed during the carving of the Carrara marble. That's one mystery solved, now for the next:

While revising the webpage account of the Statue of Hamilton, I investigated a copy of a contract for multiple casts that Fred Brown sent to me. From my research, I believe it may be the contract to cast additional copies of the plaster model for the famous Statue of Hamilton for the New York Merchants Exchange. You'll have to read the details on the Alexander Hamilton Statue webpage.

Final Thought:
I'm learning that every detail can be a valuable clue in research. As I reread the material I've accumulated so far, I keep finding new clues. Names, dates, and places that at first are not significant take on new importance when combined with information already known. In researching the document mentioned above, I discovered that Mrs. Ball Hughes enjoyed participating in parties given by the former Mayor of New York, Philip Hone. The Ball Hughes' apparently liked being part of New York's high society in the 1830's.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ball Hughes & White Mountain Art

I've added the new Willey House and White Mountain Art webpages to the site and revised the New Hampshire Studio webpage. These are my first pages to include video to enhance your experience. Start with the New Hampshire Studio webpage and take the tour.

This was the most work and the most fun I've had working on any topic for From a single notation about the Willey House on the back of a Ball Hughes family photo of his New Hampshire Studio, I discovered that he was one of the first artists-in-residence at the first Artist's Colony in America in North Conway, NH around 1860.

Ball Hughes rustic studio was in the woods behind the Willey House in Crawford Notch in the White Mountains near North Conway, NH. The Willey House was the birthplace of White Mountain Art after the Willey Tragedy in 1826.

I think I enjoyed this research so much because I love the outdoors and the stories of the Willey House are captivating and the scenery of Crawford Notch is breathtaking. I hope you enjoy the trip to Crawford Notch!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Legacy of Ball Hughes

My research shows no signs of slowing down. I now have 20MB of information on 54 webpages. The site is developing into the life story of Ball Hughes and his family.

You can almost imagine being at the historic locations and witnessing the exciting events and times that the Ball Hughes lived through.

From Eliza living 8 miles away from the Battle of Waterloo, to the Royal Academy, Royal estates, a country fair, a 10-week ocean voyage to a new country, New York, Philadelphia, and finally to Boston.

Over their lives, the Ball Hughes met Royalty and famous artists, writers, actors, and politicians. They created the legacy of their art, taught drawing to art students, lectured on art, and raised a family.

I'm privileged to present their legacy to you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Domain Name

New domain name is ready to use. Now, and in the future, you can reach the home page using this simplified, easy-to-remember address.

Google is going to transfer Googlepages to Google Sites sometime in 2009. will be updated to forward to the new site when it's ready. You may have to change the links to individual pages at some time in the future if you reference them on your site. I will also update this BLOG when that happens. Sorry for any inconvenience. Hopefully this new domain name will be a more permanent address.

Friday, May 23, 2008

First Post

Welcome to my first post! I'm hoping this blog will allow me to meet you online and allow you to share your comments and information about my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Robert Ball Hughes and his family. Please visit the website at If you forget the link, just Google "robertballhughes" without spaces.

Please leave a message here after you visit the website. You don't have to give your full name or e-mail address if you'd rather not. You can also send me an e-mail. Thank you and I look forward to meeting you and hearing your comments.