Lt. Col. Albert L. Hutson, Jr.

Colonel, Infantry (Retired 1974)


Graduate, Staunton Military Academy '41,
University of Nebraska, B.A. (History)

First Commander in Vietnam
1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry
September 1967 to January 1968


U.S. Army Photo provided by Richard Kerr (photo, rear center)
Caption by PIO, 1st Cav Div, APO 96490

AN KHE, Vietnam --- Advanced party of newly arrived 1st of the 50th Mechanized Infantry Battalion stretch their legs after Chinook flight from Qui Nhon to the 1st Air Cavalry's base camp. Left to right foreground are: LTC Albert L. Hutson, Santa Barbara, Calif. Bn CO; MSG Phillip M. Larsen, Montgomery, Ala.; and MAJ Steve Bosway, Bn S-3 officer. (U.S. Army Photo)


Courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Betty Hutson has donated $10,000 to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in memory of her late husband, Col. Albert L. Hutson, Jr. (1923-1994). The funds will be used to underwrite the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council Internship for 1999-2000.

This gift honors Col. Hutson's long and close involvement with the Council from the early 1980s until his death. Al Hutson served two terms on the AGAC Board of Directors as Program Chair and as a member of the internship selection committee. He was the first editor of the Graphic Arts Council Newsletter. This began as a small photocopied publication that included his extensive descriptions of programs and events.

Col. Hutson had a particular interest in the AGAC internship program. An artist himself, he felt that the internship was of key importance, because it gave young art historians the unique experience of working in a major collection closely supervised by the Achenbach curatorial staff. In this setting, interns could gain invaluable experience in research, critical writing, and the administrative challenges involved in mounting exhibitions.

Al Hutson had two careers: first as a professional military officer and second as an artist. He was born in 1923 in Portsmouth, Virginia into a family with a long military tradition. His father and maternal grandfather were Annapolis graduates, and his paternal grandfather served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Col. Hutson graduated from Staunton Military Academy shortly after World War II began. He later earned an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Nebraska in the late 1960s. As a young second lieutenant in World War II he served with the First Armored Division in the Italian Campaign, starting with the Battle of Anzio, and participated in the liberation of Rome. His interest in art began at this time when his commanding officer introduced him to Italian art. During combat in the Po Valley he sustained a wound for which he received the Purple Heart. In later years, he would recall making his way around local Italian museums and galleries on crutches while recovering from his wound. Col. Hutson served in the U.S. Army for 32 years, earning the Combat Infantryman's Badge for service in World II and Vietnam. He was awarded the Silver Star during the Vietnam War, where he served from1967 to1968 as a battalion commander and acting brigade commander of the First Air Cavalry Division.

Al Hutson retired from military service in 1974, moved to San Francisco, and enrolled in art school at the California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1978 he earned his BFA degree with distinction in drawing and painting. His work as a figurative artist was in the medium of pastel drawing, and he had an intense and abiding affinity for works on paper. A graduate of the Fine Arts Museums docent class in 1981, he was soon instrumental in organizing a group of docents with special interest in works of art on paper. The members of this group began conducting the first regular docent tours of Achenbach exhibitions. He is remembered as a talented teacher of museum visitors and other docents, as an expert on military history and uniform, for his eagerness to share his knowledge of how art was made, for his prodigious memory, and for his warm and engaging personality. In honor of his achievements, Mayor Frank Jordan declared his seventieth birthday, March 11, 1993, Col. Albert Hutson Day. Contributions by his many friends, fellow docents, and museum staff to the Al Hutson Memorial Fund, established after his death in 1994, enabled the Fine Arts Museums to purchase the portrait, Eugene O'Neill, reproduced in the accompanying illustration.