Beth Van Hoesen

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Beth Van Hoesen (1926-2010) was born in Boise, Idaho. 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. Cére-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 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 2006 in San Francisco; Beth Van Hoesen passed away in 2010.

Throughout her career, Beth Van Hoesen distinguished herself as a draftsman and printmaker. She was 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 by Scrimshaw Press in 1972; Beth Van Hoesen: Creatures, The Art of Seeing Animals published by Chronicle Books in 1987; Beth Van Hoesen: Works on Paper published by John Berggruen Gallery and Chronicle Books in 1995; Beth Van Hoesen: The Observant Eye an exhibition catalog published in 2009 for the Fresno Art Museum and University Art Museums, Iowa State University, Ames; and Beth Van Hoesen: Catalogue Raisonné of Limited-Edition Prints, Books, and Portfolios, a comprehensive catalogue raisonné published in 2011.

Works by Beth Van Hoesen are in the collections of more than 150 museums, including 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; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; J. P. Morgan Library, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; The Oakland Museum; Rutgers University Printmaking Archives; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Jose Museum of Art; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Stanford University Libraries; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum; University of Idaho, Moscow; University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and other institutions. The Portland Art Museum, Oregon, is the repository for Beth Van Hoesen's print archive.

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