Direct from Provincetown, Cape Cod – a perfect example of Peter Hunt’s repurpose and reinvention with his “peasant painting” technique. The original shabby chic? Whatever, we think his pieces are fabulous. This chest measures 39″w x 17″d x 35.5″w. Dated 1943.
Price on request.
Peter Hunt was a talented folk artist, a self-made celebrity and a relentless entrepreneur who made a name with his peasant decorations from the 1930s through the 1960s. A friend of the wealthy, the artistic and the oddball, Peter Hunt and his Peasant Village were well-known fixtures on Cape Cod, where summer visitors could run into one of his easily recognizable friends, including high-powered executives like James Keating of Chicago, the savvy cosmetics queen Helena Rubenstein, the scandal-stirring opera singer Ganna Walska and the now-famous Provincetown artists John Whorf, Bruce McKain and Frederick Waugh.
Hunt had a habit of embellishing, not just in furniture decoration, but in stories about his past. A longstanding Cape Cod legend (that Hunt originated and promoted) held that he first arrived in Provincetown in the early 1920s when the yacht Hunt shared with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald was forced to take safe harbor in the face of a storm. Wearing a sweeping black cape and a black broad-rimmed hat, holding the leashes of his playful afghan hounds while a red-headed dwarf scurried behind, Hunt said he strolled the streets of the village and declared, “This is a wonderful place. I must stay here.”
No matter how dramatic (or ordinary) his arrival, Hunt did stay in Provincetown, bringing his parents, Ma and Pa Hunt, and establishing himself as a folk artist and furniture director at his collection of shops called Peasant Village. On what he christened Peter Hunt Lane, an alley that spilled onto Commercial Street, he employed talented young people to decorate the stools, tables, dressers, trays and other household goods in his trademark peasant style that became so popular in the 1930s and ‘40s. Among his apprentices are now well-known modern impressionists Nancy Whorf Kelly and Carol Whorf Wescott. (For more on Peter Hunt, please see www.peasantvillage.com). — adapted from peasantvillage.com