Beth Van Hoesen

artist artwork
BETH VAN HOESEN was born in Boise, Idaho in 1926. She moved with her family to California, and in 1944 enrolled at Stanford University to study fine arts, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. She also attended painting classes at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura de la Escuela Esmeralda, Mexico City, in 1945-46, and in 1946-47 studied at California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco (now San Francisco Art Institute). After graduating from Stanford, she traveled to France and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Fontainbleau in 1948, and at the Academie Julian and Academie de la Grand Chaumiere in Paris from 1948 to 1950. In 1951 she again enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts, where David Park and Clyfford Still were among her influential teachers. At CSFA she met artist and designer Mark Adams, and they married in 1953. In 1955, she traveled with Adams to St. Céré-Aubusson, France, where Adams had an apprenticeship with tapestry artist Jean Lurçat. After a year of study and travel in France, they returned to San Francisco, and in 1957-58 she attended classes at San Francisco State College. She began to receive recognition for her drawings and intaglio prints, including a solo exhibition of drypoints at Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University in 1957.

In 1959, Van Hoesen and Adams purchased a 1910 firehouse located at 3816-22nd Street in San Francisco, where they established their studios and lived for the next 46 years. For many years, Van Hoesen and Adams hosted a weekly figure drawing and portraiture group at the Firehouse studio, joined by artists Wayne Thiebaud, Gordon Cook, Theophilus Brown, and others. Van Hoesen and Adams moved from the Firehouse in 2005; Mark Adams died in January 2006 in San Francisco.

Throughout her career, Beth Van Hoesen has distinguished herself as a draftsman and printmaker, honored with numerous awards and solo exhibitions at museums that included the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco; Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Boise Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; The Oakland Museum; and other institutions. A traveling exhibition organized by The Art Museum Association toured for three years to museums throughout the U.S. in the early 1980s.

Beth Van Hoesen's work has been the subject of books that include A Collection of Wonderful Things: Intaglio Prints by Beth Van Hoesen, published in 1972 by Scrimshaw Press, San Francisco; Beth Van Hoesen: Creatures, The Art of Seeing Animals, a Yolla Bolly Press Book published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, in 1987, with a French edition published by Flammarion in 1988; Beth Van Hoesen: Works on Paper, published in 1995 by John Berggruen Gallery and Chronicle Books, San Francisco; and Beth Van Hoesen: The Observant Eye, published in 2009 for exhibitions at the Fresno Art Museum, California, and University Art Museums, Iowa State University, Ames. A comprehensive catalogue raisonne of Beth Van Hoesen's edition prints was issued in 2011.

Museum collections with works by Beth Van Hoesen include the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum; Cincinnati Art Museum; El Paso Museum of Art; Fresno Art Museum; Honolulu Academy of Arts; Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; The Oakland Museum; Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Rutgers University Printmaking Archives; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Jose Museum of Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Stanford University Libraries; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum; University of California, Davis; University of Idaho, Moscow; University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and other institutions. The Portland Art Museum, Oregon, is the repository for Beth Van Hoesen's print archive, and during the summer of 2009 presented a selection of those prints in an exhibition titled Sensitive Vision: The Prints of Beth Van Hoesen.