Beverly Hackett was born in Oakland, California on December 14, 1917. She attended the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Hackett worked as a commercial artist in San Francisco until she was able to afford her move to Nevada City where she could concentrate on the art forms she preferred and loved most, including water colors, oil, pen and ink, and wood-block prints.
Hackett moved to Nevada City with her late husband, Richard “Dick” Hackett (who was himself a well-known artist and actor) in 1949, and she has been referred to as “…the dean of Nevada County's fine artists.” She produced stunning silk screen work in collaboration with Dorothy Cooper Gilberg in the early 1950s, selecting subjects representative of California's Gold Rush, such as Nevada City's Old Chinatown and the landmark Firehouse #1, and San Francisco's cable car, and the ship San Rafael.
It was Hackett's woodblock prints, however, that form the core of her printmaking. Beautifully executed and individually hand-printed, some prints having just one color and others having multiple colors. Her subjects varied from mythological characters to her beloved horses and cats, and deer, birds, antelope, frogs, flowers, mushrooms, vegetables and much more. Hackett was a regular participant in the Sacramento Crocker-Kingsley art exhibits. She received the California Museum Associate Award in 1957 for Old Iron, an oil on panel piece. Two of her woodcuts, Mice from 1965 and Myth from 1965, are in the permanent collection of the Crocker Art Museum.
Hackett combined her vast intellect with her artistic talents to become a knowledgeable student of mushrooms. She was a nationally recognized mycological expert and devoted hours of her life to hiking the Sierra Nevada, identifying, cataloguing, denoting date and locale of various mushrooms. Over many years, she produced and organized a multitude of notes and drawings, which may become valuable to researchers with regard to climate change studies.
Always the curious explorer, she decided to participate in ongoing studies of memory loss research at University of California, Davis, Alzheimer's Clinic. Her generosity of spirit will ultimately help develop future diagnosis and treatment programs for individuals and families struggling with memory loss diagnoses. Beverly Hackett died in Grass Valley, California on December 26, 2010.