Skip Navigation

Moundsville native Joe Hughes to be featured in new exhibit at Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex


Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex will unveil a new exhibition, Joe Hughes: The Early Years, 1950s - 1960s, in the Delf Norona Museum in Moundsville on Sunday, Sept. 4. An opening reception will be held that afternoon from 2 - 4 p.m. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The show will remain on display through Oct. 2. The exhibition is timed to coincide with the Moundsville High School all-school reunion.

An artist hailing from Moundsville, Hughes was Valedictorian of his Moundsville High School class and graduated Magna Cum Laude in art and English from Marshall University. He went on to earn his master’s degree in fine arts at Marshall and pursued further study at the University of Cincinnati and the University of London. Hughes is listed in Who’s Who in American Art (1984) and Men of Distinction (1985). Since the late 1960s, he has lived in San Francisco, but he comes home two or three times a year to visit family and friends.

Hughes taught painting at the Modern Museum in San Francisco for many years and always stressed the importance of studying the early work of artists and common elements such as use of color and attitude about subject matter in later works.

George Lawson has described Hughes as “a seminal figure” in the group of artists who developed the Color Painting movement. Hughes says of his work, “With me, it always starts with the color – what color, what size. I will put down a color and work from there.”

Hughes has exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His paintings are represented in numerous private and public collections, including the following West Virginia museums: The Avampato Discovery Museum and the West Virginia State Museum, both in Charleston; the Huntington Museum of Art; and the Delf Norona Museum in Moundsville. He has had many one-person exhibitions including Hughes Design Gallery in Wheeling; Takada Gallery in San Francisco; Koplin Gallery in Los Angeles; Marshall University Gallery in Huntington; and Jerome Ringer Gallery in Cincinnati to name a few. His work also has been included in group exhibitions, most recently Exemplary Works, Takada Gallery in San Francisco; The Beyer Collection: Albers, Hughes, Johns, Noguchi, et al at the Shasta College Art Gallery in Redding, Calif. and Abstraction: Spirit and Space, Hearst Art Gallery at St. Mary’s College in Morago, Calif.

For more information about Joe Hughes: The Early Years, 1950s - 1960s, contact Susan Yoho, site manager at Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex, at (304) 843-4128.

Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex features one of the largest and most famous burial mounds built by the prehistoric Adena people. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C., and required the movement of more than 60,000 tons of earth. Exhibits and displays in the complex’s museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The Museum is located at 801 Jefferson Ave., in Moundsville. Operating hours are Monday- Saturday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

- 30 -

Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779