Art Hansen Biography

Art Hansen




Painter and printmaker Art Hansen was born on the Pacific Northwest island of Vashon, Washington, in 1929. A lifelong Vashon resident, his grandfather was the founder of the island's first bank and young Hansen grew up surrounded by the lush flora and rural structures of its villages, leaving a deep impression on him and becoming the subject of much of his work. Hansen graduated from the University of Washington in 1952, a year that proved foruitous as he held his first solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum that same year and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his art, aged just 22. In 1953 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Munich Academy of Arts where he was introduced to intaglio printmaking, and after his return to the US he enrolled in graduate courses at the University of Minnesota, earning his MFA in 1957.

Hansen began exhibiting in New York at the end of the 1950s and would later collaborate with the New York-based Associated American Artists to publish his etching "The Pond". He and his wife, Gerda, moved back to Vashon in the early 1960s and continued to work and exhibit prolifically, establishing himself as a celebrated Pacific Northwest printmaker and painter. He credited the traditional Japanese printing arts and the work of Albrecht Durer as major influences on his work, and he was known for the meditative simplicity of his compositions.

Hansen died on June 28, 2017, on Vashon island.

Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, New York Public Library, Smithsonian Associates, Library of Congress, and Vashon Center for the Arts, among others.

Portland Art Museum, OR; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University. PA; New York Public Library; Library of Congress; Boeing corporation; Microsoft corporation; and Bayerische Graphische Sammlung, Munich, among others.