Rudolf Hess (artist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rudolf Hess
Born(1903-01-31)January 31, 1903.
DiedNovember 9, 1986(1986-11-09) (aged 83)
Other namesRudi Hess
Alma materCalifornia School of Fine Arts (CSFA)
Years active1920s–1970s
Known forPainting, Art Critic
StyleGerman Expressionist
Spouse(s)Florence Louise Mackie
Signature of the artist
Signature of the artist

Rudolf "Rudi" Hess (1903 – 1986) was an American fine art painter, sculptor and art critic, based in Northern California. His work is of the German Expressionist school[1] and the subject matter covers many genres including landscapes and nature, portraits and everyday city life.


Rudolf Hess was born 31 January 1903 in Valley Ford, a town 75 miles north of San Francisco, in Sonoma County, California.[1] He attended California School of Fine Arts (CSFA) in the 1920s.[1]

Hess was a art critic and contributor to The Argus, which was a popular San Francisco-based art journal, known for being conservative and primarily highlighting the technical aspects of painting.[2] Hess visited artist Diego Rivera in Mexico, in order to write about him and learn more about his process and his most recent mural.[2] However Hess wrote a scathing review in The Argus (in 1928) titled, “The Tragedy of Rivera," which criticized Diego Rivera as an artist, and Rivera's mural at Secretaría de Educación Pública in Mexico City.[3][2][4] This article helped in polarized the art community and prompted artist Ralph Stackpole, who was both a founder of The Argus and a friend of Diego Rivera to write a letter in January 1929 to The Argus editor, in response.[5]

From 1929 to 1968, Hess worked in Sacramento for the California Department of Transportation.[1]

Hess married Florence Louise Mackie in 1946 in Burlingame, California.[6]

In 1971, Hess served as president of Northern California Arts Inc. (NCA), an arts nonprofit in the Sacramento, California area.[7]

Death and legacy[edit]

Hess died on 9 November 1986 in Sacramento, California.[1]

Hess is included in the 1940's book, Who's Who in American Art and in Edan Milton Hughes' Artists in California 1786-1940.

A 1982 magazine was published by the California Department of Transportation, Highway Recollections of Rudolf Hess, Issue 35 and constituents of a recorded interview of Hess.[8]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Rudolf Hess Biography". Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  2. ^ a b c Ellenshaw, Hilary (2012-05-01). "Diego Rivera at the San Francisco Art Institute". San Francisco Art Institute. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  3. ^ Hess, Rudolf (October 1928). "The Tragedy of Rivera". The Argus. San Francisco: Argus Publish Company. 4: 207. Retrieved 2018-06-16 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Lee, Anthony W. (1999). Painting on the Left: Diego Rivera, Radical Politics, and San Francisco's Public Murals. University of California Press. pp. 42, 242. ISBN 0520219775 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Hailey, Gene (1936). California Art Research: Ralph Stackpole, Jo Mora, Beniamino Bufano. San Francisco Public Library, California Art Research Project. San Francisco, Calif. : [s.n.]
  6. ^ "The Davis-Wood Family of Gadsden County, Florida, and Their Forebears". Southern Historical Press. 1979. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  7. ^ "- About". Northern California Arts Inc. (NCA). Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  8. ^ Highway Recollections of Rudolf Hess, Issue 35. California: California Department of Transportation. 1982. Retrieved 2018-06-17 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ The Argus: A Journal of Art Criticism. San Francisco: Argus Publishing Company. 1928. p. 70.