About Dr. Brown | the art of Dr. Hugh Brown

About Dr. Brown

Dr. Brown was born in Delaware County Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia and Chadd's Forge, home of the Wyeth and Pyle Families.  He was raised on Maryland's Eastern Shore, in the Choptank River town of Cambridge, where he graduated high school.

     He had a casual interest in art from about age four years when he began to copy the cartoon characters in newspaper comics sections.  However, it was not until high school that his art talent became manifest.  Having received a small set of oil paints as a present and having no idea how to use them, he sought help from the new, young art teacher, Mrs. Fran Applegarth (nee Griffin).  She became his mentor, a relation that still exists.

     Mrs. Applegarth 's exceptional ability as an art teacher is evident in that two other members of the same class became recognized artists.  One is the Wyoming painter and sculptor Mark Stewart and the other, the well-known wildlife painter Dr. Robert Tolley who continues to reside in Cambridge.  Both are graduates of the Maryland Art Institute.  Over her many years as a teacher, Mrs. Applegarth has nurtured numerous significant artists but never again three from the same class.

     Dr. Brown never attended art school.  After serving in the U. S. Army, he became a pharmacologist, doing research and teaching.  He also studied psychology and is an internationally renowned psychopharmacologist.  He then interned at the Boston VAMC and became a board certified neuropsychologist specializing in brain injury rehabilitation and diagnosis.  He retired from private practice in 2007.

     He painted intermittently during his scientist, academician and clinician years.  Although not artistically trained, he utilized his knowledge of anatomy, chemistry, physics (color, light) and psychology in his paintings.  Those years were a long period of trial-and-error art training.  In 1976, his critically acclaimed book, Brain & Behavior, was published by Oxford University Press.  He drew most of the technical illustrations, some of which have been extensively reproduced.

  He also developed an appreciation of art particularly being influenced by the work of Andrew Wyeth, Grant Wood, Norman Rockwell, and Edward Hopper.  Those influences are evident in his paintings.

     After leaving Cambridge, Dr. Brown  lived in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Wilmington, DE, Chicago, Winnipeg, Canada, Boston and, since 1971 in Florida, primarily the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area.   He and his wife of 45 years currently reside in Central Florida, in the city of Mount Dora, a famous art center.  His series of Mount Dora watercolors continue to be widely exhibited, have won numerous competitions and sell as postcards, tee shirts and fine art prints.  He is currently developing another series of Mount Dora paintings in oils (see Mount Dora Redux)

     Since retirement, he has been painting full time, in oils.  In commemoration of the 2011 60th reunion of his high school class, Dr. Brown  has completed a series of 18 oil paintings depicting Cambridge as he remembers it in the late 1940's- early 1950's. 

     He has also written a novel currently available as a kindle book.

     All of Dr. Brown's art work prior to 1966 was destroyed due to an unfortunate series of events in the 1950's.  It was a pleasant shock when an example was recently discovered by Mrs. Applegarth while she was cleaning out her attic.  The painting is a small (6" x 8.5") 1951 watercolor of Cambridge Creek:

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