William Jurgen Hesthal Biography

William Jurgen Hesthal




Painter, muralist, lithographer, etcher, William Jurgen Hesthal was born in San Francisco, on Aug. 24, 1908. At age nine Hesthal began attending the Saturday classes of Alice B. Chittenden at the CSFA and at ten, first exhibited in the San Francisco Art Assn annual. During the 1920s he was a founding member of the Modern Gallery (San Francisco) and in 1929 spent eight months painting in Maupitie in the Society Islands. In 1934 he was one of 26 artists chosen by the federal government under the Public Works of Art Project to paint murals (Railroad and Shipping) in San Francisco's Coit Tower. He used a Senator Phelan Award to study in China and was in Peking when the city was taken by the Japanese. Several painting trips were made to Mexico, the first in 1941 on a Rosenberg Fellowship.

Hesthal settled in Santa Barbara in 1942 and joined the staff of the Santa Barbara Museum as a curator in 1954. During the 1960s he taught drawing, art appreciation, and history at Moorpark and Ventura colleges; and, in the 1970s, at the Santa Barbara Art Institute. Hesthal was active as an artist in Santa Barbara until his death on Jan. 5, 1985. Member: SWA; SFAA; Mural Artists of SF; Calif. Society of Etchers. Exh: SFAA, 1924-29, 1935 (1st prize); SFMA Inaugural, 1935; GGIE, 1939; NY World's Fair, 1939; Santa Barbara Museum, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1953 (solos), 1985 (memorial). In: SF Art Institute Library (mural); Mills College Music Room, (panels); Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley (mosaic panels). Invw; From Expo to Expo; SF Chronicle, 5-12-1935; WWAA 1936-41.