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William Jurgen Hesthal
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
San Francisco, CA
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Santa Barbara, CA
Painter, muralist, lithographer, etcher. At age nine Hesthal began attending the Saturday classes of Alice B. Chittenden at the CSFA and at ten, first exhibited in the SF Art Ass'n annual. During the 1920s he was a founding member of the Modern Gallery (SF) and in 1929 spent eight months painting in Maupitie in the Society Islands. In 1934 he was one of 26 artists chosen by the federal government under the Public Works of Art Project to paint murals ("Railroad" and "Shipping") in SF's Coit Tower. He used a Senator Phelan Award to study in China and was in Peking when the city was taken by the Japanese. Several painting trips were made to Mexico, the first in 1941 on a Rosenberg Fellowship. Hesthal settled in Santa Barbara in 1942 and joined the staff of the Santa Barbara Museum as curator in 1954. During the 1960s he taught drawing, art appreciation, and history at Moorpark and Ventura Colleges; and, in the 1970s, at the Santa Barbara Art Institute. He was active as an artist in Santa Barbara until his death. Painting in oil and watercolor, his work reflects involvement with contemporary idioms. Member: SFAA; Society of Mural Artists of SF; Calif. Society of Etchers; Society of Western Artists. Exhibited: SFAA, 1924; SFMA Inaugural, 1935; GGIE, 1939; NY World's Fair, 1939; Coca Cola Traveling Exhibition, MM; Santa Barbara Museum of Art (solo, 1985). Works held: SFMA; SF Art Institute (mural in library); Mills College, Oakland (panels, music room); Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley (mosaic panels). (Edan Hughes, "Artists in California 1786-1940," 1989.)