Huc-Mazelet Luquiens (1881-1961)

Huc Luquiens (American, 1881-1961) Huc-Mazelet Luquiens was born June 30, 1881, in Massachusetts, of French-speaking Swiss parents. He graduated from Yale University where he received training in art, earning both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. He then went on to study in Paris at the École des Beaux Arts and the Académie Julian, where he was taught by some of the finest artists of the time. Luquiens started his career as a portrait painter and earned a reputation in New Haven, Connecticut, for the excellence of his work. In search of portrait commissions, he came to Hawai’i in 1917 to visit his sister, who had married into the Judd family. He fell in love with the islands and traveled extensively throughout the territory, which resulted in a wide-ranging array of prints of island landscapes. After a few years teaching at Punahou School, he was hired as the first teacher of art at the University of Hawai’i, where he is credited with the formation of the department, of which he served as chair from 1936-1945 when he was succeeded by Ben Norris. The prints of Huc-Mazelet Luquiens are remarkable for their expressive and animated line work, which effectively captures the spirit of the Hawaiian landscape. Ben Norris, who credits Luquiens with influencing his decision to settle in the islands, notes “…Luquiens was the dean of Hawaiian artists of his generation and its professional leader in a very real way.” The quality of Luquiens’ work earned him membership in the Chicago Society of Etchers, New Haven Paint and Clay Club, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, and California Society of Etchers. Luquiens’ contribution to the history of art in Hawai’i is so vast and so far reaching that a place of honor in this auction is more than well deserved.