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Hassel Smith, Mission Control to Sojourner: Return to Earth, 1997

Mission Control to Sojourner, 1997

Hassel Smith (1915 – 2007)

Born in Sturgis, Michigan on April 24, 1915. After graduating from high school in San Mateo, CA, Smith attended Northwestern University. He returned to California in 1936 and spent two years at the California School of Fine Arts. He was active in the local art scene as an exhibitor and teacher at San Francisco State College (1946-47), California School of Fine Arts (1945-52), Presidio Hill Elementary School of San Francisco (1952-55), and lecturer at University of California at Berkeley (1963-65). He specialized in figurative painting until about 1947 and then Abstract Expressionism. In 1966 he moved to England and died in Rode on January 2, 2007.

Exhibited: Northwest Printmakers, 1938; San Francisco Art Ass’n, 1938-46; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939; San Francisco Museum of Art, 1941 (with Lloyd Wulff), 1946, 1975; California Palace of Legion of Honor, 1947, 1953; Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles); 1956; East-West Gallery (San Francisco), 1953; Pasadena Art Museum, 1961; San Francisco Art Institute, 1966; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1968; Oakland Museum, 1973.

Works held: Tate Gallery (London); Oakland Museum; Pasadena Art Museum; Whitney Museum (New York City); San Francisco Museum of Art.

Edan Hughes, author of the book “Artists in California, 1786-1940″
Who’s Who in American Art, 1947-70; San Francisco Chronicle, 1-20-2007 (obit).

Biography from the Archives of AskART