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In Memoriam: Hart Huttig II

In Memoriam: Hart Huttig II

1912 — 1992

by R.E. Bruné

Originally published in American Lutherie #31, 1992 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of my good friend and mentor Hart Huttig II this past July after a long illness. No stranger to this journal, Hart was a selfless contributor since the inception of the GAL and his aficion for the guitar and its construction has been conveyed to all who have read his numerous writings.

My first contact with Hart was in 1965, when his article “Guitar Construction from A to Z” appeared in Guitar Review #28. I had just begun trying to make guitars, and in those days, information was very hard to come by. His article was like manna from heaven, and lifted me up from the informational despair I was caught in at the time.

Hart Huttig II in Arles, France at a Gypsy pilgrimage being received by the elder Gypsy of the clan. All photos courtesy of H.E. Huttig II.
H.E. Huttig on his boat.

Shortly after the appearance of that issue, I contacted him on the phone and was delighted to find he was also in the wood business, thus beginning not only a business relationship, but a lifelong friendship.

Hart was an avid aficionado of flamenco, and made every effort to meet artists and invite them to his home. I fondly remember many a juerga in his front yard, where in the heat of inspiration, Hart would become so emotionally linked with the flamencos that he would tear his shirt off and cast it into the bushes. I will miss his paella Valenciana, his unique rajo cante jondo, but most of all I will miss Hart. He is survived by a daughter Beth, and his wife Rosa.

H.E. Huttig's handwritten recipe for Paella.