James Hutchinson, known for Seminole portraits, dies at 90


James Hutchinson
Florida artist James F. “Jim’’ Hutchinson died March 15

James F. “Jim’' Hutchinson, the renowned Florida Hall of Fame Artist who celebrated the state’s heritage and beauty through his portrayals of the Seminole Indians and Florida’s natural landscape, has died at the age of 90.

Kevin Hutchinson of Stuart said his father had been living in Laupahoehoe, Hawaii,  with his other son, Kelly, when he died March 15. Hutchinson and his wife, Joanie, who died in 2016, had spent the last several decades between their home in Sewall’s Point in Martin County and Hawaii.

In Florida, many of Hutchinson’s paintings were inspired by his time living with the Seminole people on the Brighton and Big Cypress Reservations. He studied them up close as he captured what he called “slices and snippets of living history.”

Hutchinson was the brother-in-law of A.E. “Beanie’’ Backus, dean of Florida landscape artists. Hutchinson’s sister, Patsy, was married to Backus.  In Vero Beach, Jim Hutchinson worked for Vero Beach visionary Waldo Sexton and he and Joanie are best remembered in Vero for murals they did at Sexton’s Ocean Grill restaurant.
Hutchinson grew up in Martin County and attended Florida State University, where he met Joanie. He was a Korean War Navy veteran and after service worked as a cartoonist for Stars and Stripes. Hutchinson was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2011.


Kevin Hutchinson said services for his father have not been decided. 

James F. Hutchinson painting
James F. Hutchinson spent years living with Seminole people and painted numerous portraits, including this one of Lucy Tiger from 1993. (Used with permission)
Osceola was the subject of this painting by James F. Hutchinson
Osceola was the subject of this painting by James F. Hutchinson. (Used with permission)
James F. Hutchinson painting
James F. Hutchinson captured Wildcat in this painting (Used with permission)
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