Paul Hultberg Biography

Paul Hultberg




Paul Eric Hultburg was born in Oakland, California in 1926. He attended the Roski School of Art and Design in Southern California on the GI Bill, in 1943 and then again in 1946, studying under Keith Crown. He then enrolled at Fresno State College the following year, where he developed an in interest in mural painting. 

In 1948 he traveled to Mexico for a chance to study with famed Mexican muralists Alfaro Siqueiros (Instituto Politecnio Nacional), Rufino Tamayo, Jose Clemente Orozco, and Jose Gutierrez (Escuela de Bellas Artes). Of particular interest was Gutierrez's development of improved mural paints, working with a chemist to help develop compounds that were more durable than those previously in use. Armed with this new knowledge, Hultberg returned to Los Angeles in 1949 to continue to start his own mural painting company.

In 1951, while still on the GI Bill, he enrolled at the Brooklyn Museum School, studying painting and printmaking under Reuben Tam, Gabor Peterdi, and Max Ernst. He was then hired by the school to teach painting and graphic arts, as well as to help develop the porcelain enamels program with artist Walter Rogalski. The school also purchased four of his prints, two of which remained in the permanent collection, and two which were a part of a traveling exhibition from 1955 to 1956. Interest in his work grew, and hte MoMA purchased two of his prints while the Pennsylvania Academy accepted a painting for their annual exhibit. His first solo show was held at the Korman Gallery in 1953.

In 1956 Hultberg moved with his family to Hill Coop, a cooperative located in Rockland County, New York, where he revived his mural business with the anmeling techniques he'd experimented with at the Brooklyn School. He had been using these techniques to make and sell small pieces of sculpture and pottery to earn a living; applying these techniques to large scale, multi panel works, he gained a reputation as an innovator in the mural field. This led to commisions for multi panel murals as well as doors and other large scale pieces. He began to exhibit internationally, and by the 1970s he had gained a reputation as one of the world's leading experimental muralists.

Hultberg continues to work and exhibit internationally. In 2017 a retrospective of his work was held in Pomona, New York, at the Pomona Cultural Center for the city's quinquagenary celebration, honoring the artist who lived and worked there for 50 years. A detailed biography of the artist can be found at