Artist Hugh Claverly Tyler was the twin brother of Laura Tyler Agee [Wright] and uncle of James Rufus Agee. The Tylers moved to Knoxville from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to be closer to the source of the marble used in the manufacturing of marble columns by Ty-Sa-Man Machine Company.
Tyler received the BS from UT in 1905 and then studied at the Pratt Institute. He also did special work at Julian’s of Paris and the French Academy of Rome. He served in World War I in the merchant marine. During the Roosevelt administration, through the WPA, Tyler, among other things, painted murals in public buildings, including one in a post office in Toledo, Ohio. He decorated the central YMCA in New Orleans. He had a connection to Knoxville’s Charles Barber, and Tyler painted the decorations in many of Barber’s buildings in the 1950s, including St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Knoxville YMCA. He is the artist of the paintings on the ceiling of the Great Hall in Hoskins Library and the etched glass of the Reading Room. His murals required intricate repetition and stenciling, and they cover large areas. Tyler is best known for his marine, fishing scenes, murals, and prints. He attended the Art Students League of New York and was a member of the Salons of America and Society of Independent Artists.