The Old Print Shop

Hildegarde Haas


Hildegarde Haas was born in Frankfort, Germany on April 19, 1926.  She emigrated to the United States with her family in 1937, where she took up summer classes at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center followed by two years at the University of Chicago.  In 1949 she received a scholarship to the Art Students League studying under Vaclav Vytlacil (founder of the American Abstract Artists Group) and Morris Kantor.  She was completely self-taught as a printmaker and explored the woodcut medium with other students at the Art Students League.

Haas was a member of The Printmakers, an established group of New York graphic artists whose ranks included Ross Abrams, Seong Moy, William Rose, Peter Kahn, Ruben Reif, Jim Forsberg, Wolf Kahn, Dorothy Morton, and Aaron Kurzen. Haas made fifty-seven woodcuts between the years 1947 – 1953 and one in 1957.  

Her woodcuts lean toward rhythmic and calligraphic abstraction and were included in the exhibition “Young American Printmakers” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1953.  She exhibited nationally at juried exhibitions and her work frequently drew attention by critics highlighting these shows.  The physical demands of carving her own blocks and hand printing each impression were so great that after seven years she put down her knives and gouges and exchanged them for brushes. After relocating to Northern California in 1951, Haas became affiliated with Bay Area art organizations, including the San Francisco and Oakland Art Associations and the Arts and Crafts Coop in Berkeley.  She continued to exhibit in national and local printing and print exhibitions and had solo exhibitions at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and the Kaiser Aluminum Corporation.  Hildegarde Haas has work in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Library of Congress, San Francisco Arts Commission, Seattle Museum of Fine Art, Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Worcester Art Museum, and the Cleveland Art Museum. 

“I am primarily interested in landscape as a theme in order to discover the underlying patterns and hidden order in the world about me.”  

Hildegarde Haas died in Berkeley, California on October 25, 2002.