Beth Van Hoesen

One of California’s leading 20th century printmakers.

American artist born in Boise, Idaho. BA from Stanford University in 1948.... In 1953, she married fellow artist Mark Adams. (

In 1959, Van Hoesen and Adams purchased a 1910 firehouse in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, where they established their studios and lived for the next 46 years. For many years, they hosted a weekly figure drawing group at the Firehouse studio, joined by artists Wayne Thiebaud, Gordon Cook, Theophilus Brown, and others. In 2005, they moved from the Firehouse to the Sequoias in San Francisco, where she was living at the time of her death.

Throughout her career, Beth Van Hoesen distinguished herself as a major figure in 20th century printmaking. Her work was featured in solo exhibitions at many museums.... (

Having studied under David Park, Van Hoesen's style can be contextualized within the Bay Area figurative school, especially when considering her choices in isolating her subjects against indeterminate backgrounds.

Annette Dixon, curator of Prints and Drawings for PAM, describes Van Hoesen:

Going beyond merely observing and recording, she interprets what she sees, bringing out her subject's uniqueness... One feels the psychological connection...

Her prints and drawings... are filled with undeniable, if seemingly simple, beauty. But their approachability belies the intense focus and perfectionism the San Francisco artist was known for. Little concerned with—though certainly aware of—artistic trends, she created timeless prints. Van Hoesen worked painstakingly, printing in her studio on a finicky turn-of-the-century press that gave her the connection to her prints she desired, and wrote of frustrations with printers who could not or would not meet her standards. (
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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