Polly Knipp Hill Biography

Polly Knipp Hill





Polly Knipp Hill [née Pauline Knipp], painter and printmaker, was born in Ithaca, New York on 2 April 1900. She grew up in Urbana, Illinois and studied for two years at the University of Illinois before enrolling in the College of Fine Arts at Syracuse University where, as an undergraduate, she met her future husband, George Snow Hill. After graduating she worked in New York City for three years as a commercial artist creating freelance fashion drawings. Polly Knipp saved her money and traveled to France for further studies and, in November 1925, she married George Snow Hill in Paris. Polly Knipp Hill studied at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Her etchings were shown in the Salon des Artistes Français and the Académie de la Palette. The couple remained in France for four years, traveling and perfecting their art yet returned home twice to attended their joint exhibitions at the Ferargil Gallery in New York City in 1927 and at the J. B. Speed Museum Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky and at the Brooks Memorial Art Museum in Memphis, Tennessee in 1928.

The Great Depression prompted their return to the United States and, in 1935, the Hills were living in Florida and George Snow Hill worked in the mural division of the Federal Art Project. Polly submitted work to the 14th Annual Exhibition of the Brooklyn Society of Etchers and was awarded the Nathan I. Bijur Prize of $25.00 for the best print by an Exhibitor not a Member of the Society for her etching "Croquis Class at the Academie Colarossi, Paris."

She was a member of and exhibited with the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Chicago Society of Etchers, the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, the St. Petersburg Art Club, the Florida Federation of Art, the Southern Print Makers Society, and the Northwest Print Makers. Her etchings were featured in Fine Prints of the Year (1930, 1932 & 1933), Contemporary American Prints (1931), and Prize Prints of the 20th Century (1949).

Polly Knipp Hill had a solo exhibition in 1941 at the Art Forum in St. Petersburg, Florida and, in 2012, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia, mounted the exhibition, Polly Knipp Hill: Marking a Life Through Etching. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens; the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence; the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the University Art Collection, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; and the Wichita Art Museum, Kansas.

Polly Knipp Hill died on 22 February 1990 in St. Petersburg, Florida.