History of the Hutchings Gallery
In 1968, Sealy Hutchings, Jr., Robert Knox Hutchings, Elizabeth Hutchings Cavin, and Mary Hutchings pledged a donation to the Rosenberg Library Building Fund for its expansion project. The Hutchings Gallery was established as a memorial to their parents, Sealy Hutchings, Sr. and Mary Moody Hutchings. The room was dedicated in 1971 after the library’s Moody Memorial Wing was completed.
The oil portraits on the west wall are of John Henry Hutchings (1826 – 1906) and his wife, Minnie Knox Hutchings. The couple married in 1856, and they had eight children. In 1845, John H. Hutchings, the father of Sealy Hutchings, Sr., formed a partnership with John Sealy and George Ball, creating Ball, Hutchings, and Company. John Hutchings negotiated the bonds to construct the first bridge across the bay and was instrumental in improving Galveston’s harbor. During the Civil War, Hutchings was active in importing arms and other supplies for the military. He later became president of the Galveston Wharf Company.
On the south side of the room are charcoal portraits of Sealy Hutchings, Sr. (1869 – 1936) and Mary Moody Hutchings (1870 – 1943). Together they had seven children. Sealy Hutchings served as president of his father’s banking firm, which also handled wholesale dry goods. Mary Moody Hutchings was the daughter of Col. W.L. Moody, one of Galveston’s most prominent and successful businessmen. Mrs. Hutchings was involved with numerous civic and educational projects in the community.
The large landscape painting on the east wall was given to the Hutchings Family by Waters Davis, a fellow Galvestonian. Davis purchased the work during the late nineteenth century while on vacation in Europe. The mountain landscape, entitled Vue de Sogefjord, was painted by Olaf Peterson. On the north wall hangs a portrait of Sealy Hutchings, Sr. as a young boy with his brother, George Hutchings.
Over the years, the Hutchings Family has made numerous gifts to the Rosenberg Library, greatly enhancing its museum and archival collections.