Anna Althea Hills Biography

Born in Ravenna, OH on January 28, 1882.  Hills grew up in Michigan and attended Olivet College there.  She first studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cooper Union, and privately with Arthur Dow in New York.  During 1908-13 she was in Europe where she further studied at Academie Julian in Paris and with John Noble Barlow in England.  Upon returning to the U.S. in 1913, she moved to California and soon settled in Laguna Beach.  Hills co-founded and served as president of the Laguna Beach Art Association for six years and helped raise funds to establish the present art museum.  A bronze plaque was placed there after her death on June 13, 1930.  She is revered as an organizer, lecturer, and for her community work in Laguna Beach.  Her early works are mostly dark tonal interiors, genre and figure studies; whereas, in California her palette brightened as she turned her attention to landscapes and marines.  Working in oil and watercolor, she adopted a decorative, Post-Impressionist style to record the California scene.