Howard Edwin Hack Biography

Howard Edwin Hack




Howard Edwin Hack was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on July 6, 1932.  In 1939 he moved with his family to Oakland, California. His career began as a teenager in the late 1940s when he exhibited paintings at the Vesuvio Cafe, and The Coffee Gallery in the North Beach area of San Francisco, establishing himself among the North Beach artists.

In 1949 Hack became a summer student of Yasuo Kuniyoshi at Mills College. Between the years 1950 and 1953, he studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the San Francisco Art Institute, and independently with Martin Baer, learning Flemish oil painting techniques.

In 1953 Hack was drafted and sent to Korea as a truck driver and clerk-typist. When he returned to the United States he occupied a studio space in the Spreckels Mansion, known as the Ghost House, with other artists, such as Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, and Hayward King.

Hack lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico between 1957 and 1959, where he developed his painting style further, focusing on Mexican religious and market subjects. Upon his next return to the United States, he enrolled at the University of San Francisco, where in 1962 he received a B.A. in philosophy. Hack's paintings and silverpoints and other works have been exhibited in numerous museums and institutes including the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, the Legion of Honor, and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, Lee Nordness Gallery, New York, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 

Howard Hack died in Oakland, California on June 11, 2015.