Holly Downing Biography

Holly Downing




Holly Downing, painter, printmaker and teacher, was born in San Francisco in 1948. She studied art at the University of California, Santa Cruz earning her B.A. in 1972. Her studies continued at the Royal College of Art, London and at Goddard College where she was in the graduate program in Europe. Between the years 1974 and 1980, Downing resided in England where she researched the mezzotint technique earning her M.F.A. from Goddard College in 1980.

Downing taught art for twenty-three years at the Santa Rosa Junior College and prior to that she taught briefly at the University of California Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University. Her paintings and mezzotints have been exhibited internationally and she is a recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Greenshields Foundation, Canada; the Arts Council of Great Britain; the Graham Foundation, Chicago; and the San Francisco Phelan Foundation. Downing is an elected member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, London.

Downing’s work is represented in the collections of the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the New York Public Library, New York; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Her work is also found in numerous university and college art collections internationally. Holly Downing's mezzotints are included in a number of publications, including The Mezzotint, History and Technique by Carol Wax, 1990; Holly Downing, 25 Years of Mezzotints, a catalogue raisonné, 2001; and Printmakers' Secrets edited by Tony Dyson, 2009.