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 Ferdinand (Fred) Hocks  (1886 - 1981)

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Lived/Active: California / Germany      Known for: abstraction, printmaker

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ferdinand Hocks was known as an oil painter and printmaker whose work became more abstract later in his career. He was an active member of the art community in California as an artist and a teacher for many years.

Hocks was born in Aachen, Germany in 1886, and came to the United States to join his brother in San Francisco, California in 1902. His brother was established in business, and Ferdinand attended the Mark Hopkins Art Institute where he was a pupil of Arthur Matthews. After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, Hocks traveled to New York City to take classes at the Art Students League. He had moved back to California by 1919 where he lived in Los Angeles and furthered his studies at the Art Institute there.

In the 1920s he was given the position of director of the summer school at the Los Angeles Art Institute. Hocks purchased many acres of land in the Sweetwater Valley in the 1940s, where he had a studio-home. He exhibited at the San Diego Fine Art Gallery in 1938 and 1942. In his later years he was in charge of the San Diego School of Fine Arts & Crafts and from the 1950s to the 1970s taught at the Coronado School of Fine Arts.

He died in San Diego in 1981. A retrospective of his work was shown at the San Diego Museum of Art in 1976.

Source:
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Aachen, Germany on Oct. 8, 1886. A descendant of Dutch nobility, “Fred” Hocks was exposed to art at an early age by viewing the family portraits by Anthony Van Dyke. At age 16 he immigrated to San Francisco where his brother was established in business.

He studied at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute under Arthur Mathews and, after the earthquake of 1906, at the Art Students League of New York City.

By 1919 he had moved to Los Angeles where he further studied at the Art Institute under J. Francis Smith. In 1924 Hocks began teaching art in San Diego County and moved there after he was appointed director of Los Angeles Art Institute's summer school.

In Sweetwater Valley he purchased 40 acres where he established a studio. During the 1930s he worked on the WPA art project, and in the 1940s was instrumental in organizing the Allied Arts Council. He ran the San Diego School of Arts & Crafts from 1946 until the late 1950s and then taught at the Coronado School of Fine Arts.

An abstract painter in his later years, most of his early works were lost when his studio burned in the 1940s.

Hocks died in San Diego on Oct. 16, 1981.

Exhibition: Berkeley League of FA, 1924; San Diego FA Gallery, 1938, 1942 (solos); GGIE, 1939; Calif. State Fair, 1948 (2nd prize); San Diego Museum, 1976.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); San Diego Union, 10-19-1981 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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