William C. Hook


Honorary Artist Member since 1993.

Hook’s background in art began at home. It was through the influence of his father and grandmother, a professional photographer and architect respectively, that art became second nature to him. Other family members were art historian Bainbridge Bunting, prominent Italian painters Gino and Bertha Venanzi, as well as Pulitzer Prize winning author, Willa Cather. When the discussion of art arose at the Hook household, there was never a lack of opinions and interests.

After having attended classes at the Kansas Art Institute, Hook left his hometown of Kansas City to continue his study of fine art at the University of New Mexico. Hook went on to complete his formal education at the Universita Per Straniere (Perugia, Italy) and the Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles, CA). Hook then moved to Denver and became a partner in one of the city’s most prominent advertising agencies. After more than a decade, Hook left to devote himself to painting full-time. In New Mexico, the artist was influenced by the works of Taos painters Victor Higgins, E. Martin Hennings, and Richard Diebenkorn, an alumnus and guest lecturer at the University of New Mexico. Today his frequent field trips along the back roads of Colorado and wooded trails of Northern New Mexico have begun to produce small, plein aire studies that are eagerly sought by collectors.

The American landscape is Hook’s inspiration. Large skies, low horizons, distant mountains, and textured foregrounds are expressed in his paintings with broad brushstrokes of vivid color. His work is distinctive and stands out from the crowd of today’s genre of landscape painters. The magazines Southwest Art, Art of the West, U.S. Art, American Artist, and Focus Santa Fe have featured Hook’s work in cover articles that proclaim his importance as a leading landscape painter. The book, Leading the West by Donald Hagerty, features Hook as one of the notable influence on the western art scene. In addition, publishers Harper-Collins and North Light have included his work in numerous books written about the contemporary art process in Europe and America.

Hook’s paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Tucson Art Museum, the University of New Mexico, the FORBES Museum, NYC, and the Genesee Museum, NY. In addition, Hook’s work is featured in prints for the New Mexico Symphony, Music from Angel Fire, and the Santa Fe Opera.

Artwork to be Showcased