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 William (Carl Wilhelm) Hahn  (1829 - 1887)



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Lived/Active: California / Germany      Known for: genre-views, portrait, still life, landscape painting

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Ad Code: 2
William (Carl Wilhelm) Hahn
from Auction House Records.
The Return From Glacier Point
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Ebersbach, Saxony, Germany on Jan. 7, 1829.  At age 14 Hahn entered the Royal Academy of Art in Dresden where he studied for five years under Julius Huebner and continued for two more years at the Düsseldorf Academy.  He received gold and silver medals from the Dresden Gallery.  Some of his first watercolors were purchased by the King of Saxony and placed in the Nat'l Gallery in Düsseldorf.  His paintings were exhibited in Boston, New York, and San Francisco including the California Art Union of 1865. 

In 1869 Èahn met artist Wm Keith in Düsseldorf and in 1871 came with him to Boston where the two artists shared a studio.  In 1872  the two artists came to San Francisco and established a studio in the Mercantile Library Bldg.  Hahn's sketching trips took him to the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite, Napa Valley, Russian River, and southern California.  By 1876 he was a resident of the Bohemian Club and director of the San Francisco Art Ass'n.  The year 1878 was spent in New York and, while there, he exhibited at the NAD and the Brooklyn Art Ass'n.  Upon returning to San Francisco, he exhibited locally and received high praise from the press.  Hahn married local artist Adelaide Rising in Piedmont, CA in 1882 and then left for an extended European honeymoon.  They lived in London for several years and intended to return to California; however, he died unexpectedly in Dresden on June 8, 1887.  Although he painted portraits and still lifes of fruit and flowers, it is his genre scenes  which are his greatest legacy to California art. 

Exh:  Calif. State Fair, 1873-95; SFAA, 1873-80; Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1874-96; Calif. Midwinter Fair, 1894; Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909; MM, 1939; Oakland Museum, 1976 (retrospective). In: CHS; LACMA; Oakland Museum; De Young Museum (Sacramento Railroad Station); Nat'l Gallery (Düsseldorf); Society of Calif. Pioneers; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); Hudson River Museum (Yonkers, NY); CPLH; Orange Co. (CA) Museum; Dresden Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California State Library (Sacramento); City Directory; Oakland Museum; San Francisco Call, 7-7-1887 (obit).
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A student in Dusseldorf of Emanuel Leutze, William Hahn became a friend of William Keith and followed him first to Boston in 1869 and in 1872 to San Francisco where they shared a studio in the Mercantile Library Building.  There he became a painter of animal, interior, still life, and genre scenes including crowed alleys of Chinatown. It was the genre scenes for which he was primarily known. By 1876, he was Director of the San Francisco Art Association.

He was born in Ebersbach, Saxony, Germany and at age fourteen entered the Royal Academy in Dresden and studied for five years with Julius Huebner. He then spent two more years in Dusseldorf and received much recognition including the purchase of his paintings by the King of Saxony.

From San Francisco, he made many sketching trips including to Yosemite, Sierra Nevadas, Alaska, and to Southern California. He also traveled East, exhibiting in 1878 at the Academy of Design in New York and the Brooklyn Art Association.

In 1882, he married Adelaide Rising, and they traveled extensively in Europe with the plan to return to California. However, he died in Dresden in 1887 at the age of fifty eight.

His work is in Oakland at the De Young Museum, at the National Gallery in Dusseldorf, and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:
William Hahn was born in Saxony, Germany, in 1829. He studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Dresden, and the Dusseldorf Academy. Around 1870, Hahn met the artist William Keith, and moved with him first to Boston, then San Francisco in 1872, where the two shared a studio.

Hahn enjoyed tremendous success, taking extended painting trips throughout California, and exhibiting his works at the National Academy of Design in New York. A versatile artist, Hahn is most remembered for his detailed genre scenes. A resident of San Francisco, Hahn died unexpectedly while traveling in Europe in 1887.

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William Hahn is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
California Painters

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