Joan Palmer Hughston was born in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of Frederic Niles Palmer, Jr., architect and draftsman, and Lorraine Gertrude Peterson. She possessed a gentle wit, a gracious generosity, and a deep devotion to her family. From the age of three until her early teens, Joan lived in New Orleans. It was there that she first studied art, at the New Orleans Arts and Crafts School with Paul Ninas. Even having endured a year-long recovery from malaria, she said of this period in her life, "My childhood growing up in New Orleans could not have been happier." One of her recollections of her New Orleans days was roller-skating over to Huey Long's house with one of her little friends, and being invited in by the housekeeper to skate on the marble floor of the grand reception room.
She returned to Dallas where she attended Woodrow Wilson High School and Southern Methodist University, where she graduated with honors in 1949 with a degree in fine arts.
Her primary interest was in traditional oil painting; however, she enjoyed the teaching of children’s
classes in watercolor, the study of medical art, and the illustration of books with pen and ink drawings.
She married Edward Wallace Hughston on 3 June 1949. After her marriage Joan moved to Austin for Ed's postgraduate studies, and from there to Corpus Christi for eight years, where her three sons Lane, Mark and Tommy were born. From 1959 to 1979 the family lived in Dallas and in McKinney. In her McKinney years Joan and her family resided in the landmark Gough-Hughston house on West Louisiana Street. She had a deep interest in genealogy and local history, and was instrumental in setting up the Collin County Heritage Guild in 1973.
It was in McKinney that her talent for the restoration of historic houses was recognized, where she was influential in plans for the renovation of important heritage sites in the Chestnut Square area, and in inaugurating the idea of the annual holiday season tour of historic McKinney houses. Over the years she restored
some nine historic houses and buildings in Texas and New Mexico, including the house and studio of artist Andrew Dasburg in Taos, New Mexico. She brought to architectural restoration and design the same skills of visualization and attention to detail that are so striking in her paintings.
For the last twenty four years of her life Joan Hughston lived in Taos, New Mexico, where her career as an artist flourished. She was active in the Taos art community and in many local civic endeavors, and was on the Board of Trustees of the Millicent Rogers Museum. In her later years, Joan became known as one of the fine Taos oil painters, and as a successful teacher of oil painting. She evolved a number of distinctive styles, and is perhaps best appreciated for her impressionistic images of mountain scenery and Taos architecture.
Come, allow yourself time to become immersed in my inspirational collection.