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George Richmond HoxieGeorge Hoxie was born in 1907 in upstate New York, and attended Syracuse University where he obtained a BFA. He put himself through college by playing the saxophone in dance bands, even though he didn't read music. This was followed by short stint in New York City painting designs for a wallpaper company before moving to Oxford, Ohio.
He taught watercolor and design at Miami University for about 10 years. During that time he attended photography classes at the University of Cincinnati, beginning to enter salon competitions in the late 1930s. He joined the PSA (Photographic Society of America) in 1939. From 1943-1948, Hoxie was the editor of Minicam Magazine in Cincinnati (it later became Modern Photography). During his time as editor, he made two trips to California, where he photographed the missions. The California Museum of Photography at Riverside has these images in its collection.
In the summer of 1943, he worked in the training film production lab at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. In the late 1940s he opened a studio, or joined in with a Mr. Krider in Cincinnati, later opening on his own in Oxford. He maintained that studio until his death. George Hoxie also taught photography at Winona College in Indiana, along with Halsman, in one session.
He became a well-known portrait photographer, while continuing his artistic photography. Basil Rathbone, Bennet Cerf, Robert Frost, Dali, Maurice Tabard and others all sat for Hoxie. Beyond portraiture, his scope was wide, including humor, landscape, still life, human nature, photograms, nudes, and diverse darkroom treatments. He was known for his sense of humor - quite clever, and up to antics. Always doing or creating stuff that would produce a reaction in a person (or an animal). He had a love of nature, whether human or the earth.
Known as "Foxie Hoxie" and "Hocus Focus," George Hoxie was a popular salon judge, nationwide. He judged over 40 PSA salons, in Altanta, Rochester, Wichita, Detroit, St. Louis, etc. He continued to be a commentator/critic and to do portfolio reviews at shows until 1984. His own photographs traveled all over the world, winning national and international awards. Examples are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, George Eastman House, and the Photographic Society of America.
The George Eastman House database records 27 exhibitions which included his images. Many were juried Salon exhibitions with jurors including Anton Bruehl, Adolf Fassbender, D. J. Ruzicka, Laura Gilpin, and Ira Martin. They were presented over the years at, for example, The Art Institute of Chicago (1937), and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1961), where Hoxie's work hung in the company of Richard Avedon, Aubrey Bodine, Paul Caponigro, Karsh, Wm. Klein, Alexander Liberman, Ruth Orkin, Irving Penn, and Brett Weston. Beth Hoxie, his daughter-in-law, has logged over 250 entries into salons from the vast number of catalogues she retains. These were in places as diverse as Melbourne, Budapest, Paris, Tokyo, Johannesburg and Toronto, where his work appeared at the CNE in 1937. His daughter holds the family heirlooms and much of the memorabilia, along with the correspondence, so a detailed record of his career exists.
Hoxie died in Oxford, Ohio, in 1984.
We are indebted to Beth and Monty Hoxie, the photographer's son and daughter-in-law, to George Eastman House and to the PSA for biographical information.
© Ross Winter & David Moore (Camera Lucida Photographs, Toronto)