The Colgate Scene
January 2002



How to speak about John Hubbard's photographs? They have characterized a landscape for as long as I can remember -- from the eye of someone who clearly loves this place, its hills, its architecture, the play of light on the building in which I write these words, or the chapel's steeple, or the willow walk. Taylor Lake in the almost Japanese colors of snow, with the red of a maple barely seen. Here are photographs that have captured our people as well, in portraits, mostly in black and white, linear and of great clarity but also of felt warmth. I think of the portrait of professor Roy Bryce LaPorte, a man whose gentleness and compassion reads though to the face before us. The Scene cover that celebrated Gary Urton's MacArthur grant, another framed face, lives in my mind, defining a moment. As does John's series of Hamiltonians, celebrating a village and the working lives that compose its populace. All these portraits are close, generous, even in their hardest lines.

I will tell you a story: this summer Howard '39 and Margaret Jones took me to the funeral parlor in Morrisville, to pay our respects to Mrs. Marian Whitney -- who cooked for generations of Deke men. By her open coffin was a Hubbard portrait on a wooden easel: Mrs. Whitney, firm, unsmiling, a real and formidable presence, in the DKE kitchen 25 years earlier. Like all real art, it was the viewer's link in -- in black and white, a three-quarter shot, pots hanging from the ceiling. I felt I knew her. - Jane Pinchin, interim president

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