Fannie Hillsmith Biography

Fannie Hillsmith




Born in Boston in 1911, Fannie Hillsmith enrolled at age nineteen in the Boston Museum School, which her grandfather had co-founded. In 1934, she studied for one year at the Arts Students’ League in New York under Alexander Brook, John Sloan, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Vaclav Vylacil. Hillsmith had her first solo exhibition in 1943 at Jimmy Ernst’s Norlyst Gallery and Peggy Guggenheim selected three of her works for the exhibition Art of This Century.

Hillsmith worked at Atelier 17 in New York in 1946 where she studied with Stanley William Hayter alongside Joan Miro, Yves Tanguy, and various other displaced artists from war-torn Europe whose work greatly influenced American art.

Hillsmith continued to explore various media throughout her life and her extensive oeuvre includes paintings, prints, sculptures, assemblages, and collages. She exhibited in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States, and her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, Fogg Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Addison Gallery of American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, New ark Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.