Perhaps the most touching story of the day belonged to John Parker, who brought a John Hatch painting he purchased in the artist’s living room in Durham several years ago. He purchased the painting as a present for his wife, who passed away in 2006.
Parker has since set it up so the painting will go to his daughter when he passes away, and his daughter will in turn leave it to the University of New Hampshire, where Hatch taught art classes to Parker’s wife.
It was through that connection that Parker was able to visit Hatch at home, where they ate soup served by Hatch’s wife, Maryanna, and he bought the painting.
“She made us soup and we yacked a bit, and the transaction was made,” Parker said.
Parker admittedly has no intention of selling; the painting means to much to his family. The importance was perhaps best summed up in the tears that welled in Parker’s eyes as he recounted purchasing the work for his wife.
The painting is interesting on many levels, perhaps most notably because it was made using watercolors, sand and ink. And the frame appears to be original, guessed gallery owner Sarah Chaffee, most likely made by Hatch himself, because “he’s a frugal Yankee,” she said.
Someday the painting will find its way to a wall at UNH, which Parker said was destined all along.
“My wife took many classes with Hatch, so it’s only right it seems to me to give it back to UNH,” he said.