Della Taylor Hoss
Della Taylor Hoss was born in Harvey Illinois on June 3,1900. It was soon after her birth that the Taylor family relocated to California, where Della remained until her death in 1997. In 1925 Della graduated from Stanford University, with a degree in journalism, and then went on to pursue her interest in art. She began working in San Francisco for a commercial art studio, and eventually enrolled in courses to study etching and wood block printing. Della went on to study under Mark Tobey, in Seattle, for several months. While there she learned a technique called "rubbed graphic drawing", a tool she used extensively in her later career.
In 1928 Della traveled to Yosemite National Park to visit her brother, Frank J. Taylor, author of Oh Ranger, a classic commentary on life in the National Park Service. While in Yosemite Valley, she met the local U.S. Magistrate, Herman H. Hoss. Della and Herman were married and remained in the park until 1942. They had one son, Peter, who grew up along side Michael and Anne, the children of Ansel and Virginia Adams.
Stanford University Press used Della’s linocut prints as illustrations for Mary Curry Tressider’s book Trees of Yosemite, published in 1932. In 1996, twelve images from that book were reprinted letterpress at One Heart Press in San Francisco. Entitled Remembering the Trees, this work was produced in two sizes, 18 x 12 inches and 9 x 6 inches, in editions of 250, numbered and signed by Della Taylor Hoss. Numbers 1 through 50 are reserved for portfolio editions.
Della often apprenticed with the renowned Berkeley artist Chiura Obata, when he was the artist-in-residence in Yosemite. She also studied with Chiura Obata in Japan for an art study program. Many of her sumi paintings and etchings have been used on Yosemite's Ahwahnee Hotel dining room menus. This was a popular venue for many local artists, including Ansel Adams.
In 1942 Della and Herman relocated to Palo Alto, where Della continued creating art in a wide variety of forms. She used many processes including etchings, linocut, rubbed graphic drawings, carbon and colored pencil pieces, calligraphy, and clay sculpture. One result of her work during this time was the creation of a 15 print series of the Bristlecone Pine, found in the White Mountains of eastern California. Her work was exhibited, and later donated to the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, at the Carnegie Mellon University.