Hunt Ken
  • Sculptor, Gov. Mark Hatfield’s bust, 1986.

About Ken Hunt

Ken Hunt left high school early and moved from California to Silverton, Oregon, where his sister lived. To earn money, Hunt learned wood carving and sculpting, and established himself in this career fulltime as a 23 year old.

When he had only been sculpting for a short time, Hunt attended a marble sale at the Capitol that Norma Paulus and the Historical Properties Commission put on. She sold the surplus Vermont marble from the 1976 Capitol Wings project to raise money for governors’ portraits. At the sale, Hunt got marble and connected with Paulus. He was later the sculptor picked to create U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield’s bust from the marble. 

The bust took Hunt around 18 months, from 1983-1985, while he also worked on additional projects. He deliberately carved Hatfield as if speaking, with his mouth open, as he was known to be a great orator. While studying Hatfield, Hunt learned that he was an authentic scholar and included a book on the sculpture. Also, Hunt learned that Hatfield had a close relationship with his mother and wanted to include a porcelain dish of Hatfield’s mother on the sculpture, but the old marble did not allow for this. 

Hunt continues to sculpt, carve and create.

– Interview recorded June 4, 2002