Hilda Pertha Biography

Hilda Pertha




Painter, printmaker, sculptor, industrial designer and multi-media artist Hilda Pertha was born in Pensauken, New Jersey, in 1911. She received her formal training at Philadelphia College of Art, the Barnes Foundation in Merion, PA, and the art department of the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. She taught for a time at the Settlement School and had her first solo exhibition in 1944 at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.

Pertha moved to New York in 1946, and in 1954 she left for Europe, traveling throughout Norway, Southern France, Spain, and Peru, taking inspiration from the dramatic landscapes she encountered and drawing them as she went. She spent time in Paris and London designing textiles and other industrial imagery, and furnishings and jewelry designing in Philadelphia. In 1958 she granted a scholarship to study at the artist's refuge on the island of Citadelloya in Norway.

She returned to the U.S. in 1959, settling in San Francisco. In the summer of 1960 she was invited by the the director of Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, California, to teach the first painting class to be offered at the now well-known center. She traveled from the Bay Area to Mendocino regularly, to teach to study, and in 1979 she settled there permanently.

Among her exhibitions were group and solo shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the De Young Museum, USIS in Lima Peru, and the American Embassy in Oslo, Norway. She taught in the U.S. and abroad, and was a part of the Oakland Art Association and the Redwood Art Association (Eureka, CA). Pertha died in Mendocino in 2011.

An extensive investigation of her life, work, and writings can be found at hildapertha.blogspot.com.