Artists Represented in the Smithsonian Catalog of Botanical Illustrations
Close this window to return to the list of artists.
Regina Hughes (1895-1993), an artist and botanical illustrator, was born in Herman, Nebraska on 1 February 1895. Her parents had come to Nebraska from Wisconsin, while Nebraska was still a territory. After training in art school in Omaha, Nebraska she moved to Washington, D.C. in 1914 to continue her education at Gallaudet College for the Deaf. She received a B.A. in 1918 and then a Master's degree in 1920. Her first job was as a translator for the U.S. State Department during World War I. In 1930, she joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) as a research clerk, then as a scientific illustrator. After retiring from government service in 1969, she continued as a free-lance illustrator working principally for the curatorial staff of the Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution.
Examples of Mrs. Hughes technical illustrations may be seen in a number of publications, including U.S.D.A. publications on weeds written by Clyde Reed (1970, 1977), John Wurdack's treatment of the Melastomataceae for the Flora of Ecuador (1980), and R. M. King and Harold Robinson's monograph of the Eupatorieae (Asteraceae) (1987). In addition to illustrating with pen- and-ink, she also used oil paints and watercolors. Her exhibits included one-man shows at the U.S. National Arboretum (1968), the National Agricultural Library (1972), and the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution (1987). Her paintings are in several permanent collections, including those of the Smithsonian and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.
Mrs. Hughes garnered several awards during her long career. In 1967, her alma mater, Gallaudet University, awarded her an honorary doctorate in humane letters, and in 1981, she also received the university's Amos Kendall Award "for notable excellence in a professional field not related to deafness." In 1970, she was named "Woman of the Year" by Phi Kappa Zeta, and she was voted "Artist of the Year" by the National League of American Pen Women in 1980. In botany, she is commemorated by a genus and species native to Peru, Hughesia reginae R. M. King & H. Rob. (Asteraceae).
Mrs. Hughes died at her home in Washington, D.C. on 12 August 1993 at the age of 98.
- Examples of illustrations by Regina Hughes in our catalog.
- Clidemia hirta
- Tibouchina anderssonii
- Monochaetum pauciflorum
- View all illustrations in the catalog by Regina Hughes.