The Life of Martin Hunter Mallory
Hunter Mallory, a self-employed professional artist for over 50 years, passed away August 7, 2014 after several months of declining health. He was 87. Hunter was the owner and director of Mallory Studios where his inspiration came to life. He specialized in portraiture as well as paintings/drawings of landscapes, seascapes and wildlife.
Hunter was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. During his youth he developed an interest in cartooning. He collected popular comic books and comic strips from the Sunday newspaper. From studying and imitating the cartoonists’ style, he developed his early drawing skills and attempted to create his own comic strip characters.
Following high school, Hunter served in the US Army during WW II in the Philippines and after the war transferred to the Army Air Corps. In the Air Force, he was a transport plane radio operator attaining the rank of Corporal. In later life, Hunter continued to pursue the excitement of flying through his computer’s flight simulator. He was also an avid player of the computer game X Plane.
Following his military service, Hunter entered the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia and received a B.S. in Architecture in 1954, graduating second in his class. As an undergraduate, he won a national competition for a full scholarship for a year of study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Fontainbleau, France, where he studied in 1953. After graduation, he continued fine art studies in Italy and New York City where he further enhanced his life drawing skills and developed a very personal style of portraiture. He completed over 600 portraits throughout his career.
Hunter devoted six years to the profession of Architecture before turning full time to the fine arts. After returning from Europe in 1959, he settled in Connecticut and had numerous solo and group shows in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New Haven, Hartford and many smaller towns throughout the New England area. His professional skills were utilized by many diverse organizations. He was frequently invited to jury local and regional art shows and to give demonstrations of art techniques to both public and private groups. For six years he was a member of the teaching staff of the Guilford Handcraft Association conducting classes in art for all ages. He also taught for The Greenwich Art Barn and was an instructor and tutor at Eagle Hill School of Greenwich, CT, a private school for children with learning disabilities.
In 1985, Hunter opened a west coast studio in the Los Angeles area where he lived and worked for about 10 years. One notable commission while there was to execute several portraits of living past presidents for a private collection. Those portraits included Gerald Ford, James Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Sr., William Clinton and George Bush, Jr. His portrait of George Bush, Sr. is permanently on display in the Bush Presidential Library in Houston, Texas. Hunter received and treasured an acknowledgement from Barbara Bush complimenting his work. As time went on, Hunter began to feel the call of the beauty of the New England landscape and returned to Connecticut where he has resided since the late 1990’s.
Through his life’s work and travels, Hunter was always accompanied by his dog. Whether travelling cross country in his Volvo or making a trip to the grocery store, a furry friend was always at his side. He considered his dog his most loyal and faithful friend and there was considerable devotion between him and his pups. Hunter owned four dogs over his lifetime. His first dog, named Schultzie was a silver Miniature Schnauzer. He was a sweet little dog with a friendly disposition. Schultz was followed by three Australian Shepherds, Trouper, Tracker and Trixie. Hunter delighted in training each of these high energy dogs and would demonstrate their ability to run and jump by teaching them to catch Frisbees. Hunter walked his dog religiously 3-4 times per day and because of that he became well known to the shop keepers and residents of his neighborhood in South Norwalk.
Hunter was a lifelong learner. He developed a personal library of several thousand books and read them all. He enjoyed classic literature, poetry and music. His enjoyment led him to write stories, poetry and music of his own. When reading to children, he adopted different voices to bring the characters to life. His rendition of Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit from the Uncle Remus stories is unforgettable. He played classical guitar as well until hand tremors in his later years prevented him from doing so.
Hunter possessed a great gift for conversation. He loved to talk! His intelligence and interest in learning gave him the ability to converse at length on almost any subject. He would often call relatives and friends with “updates” on his most current enterprise and the listener would know from experience that the “update” would go on for some time as Hunter moved the conversation from one subject to the next.
Above all, Hunter was a man of great faith. He firmly believed in God’s love and trusted in the Lord in both good times and times of trial. He dedicated his work to God believing that he was serving the Lord through his artwork. After fifty years of creating drawings and paintings, Hunter felt he had completed his mission here on earth and looked forward to the time when God would call him home. Today is his day to rejoice in the Lord and we rejoice with him. We will remember Hunter with great love and fondness.