Horatio Nelson Poole

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Horatio Nelson Poole was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey in 1884. He and his family relocated to Pennsylvania when he was ten years old. Living in Philadelphia, Poole studied at the local School of Industrial Design where he learned etching. His first etching was made from a scrap piece of zinc and printed on a mangle used for printing blue prints at the factory where he worked, helping to support his family.

He studied for six years at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art as a pupil of Thomas Anshutz. In 1914, he moved to Hawaii, where his brother lived, and he supported himself working as a newspaper cartoonist (1914-1917 for the "Honolulu Star Bulletin", and in 1917-18 for the Honolulu Advertiser). During this time, Poole worked on developing his skills as an etcher. He earned money designing bookplates for many famous collections of rare volumes. In this way, he met major collectors, such a C. Montague Cooke, who bought prints of all the etchings Poole made in the islands.

By 1918 Poole was one of the most prominent members of the Hawaiian Society of Artists. His fame reached beyond Hawaii and he was elected a member of the California Society of Etchers where he served as president for three years. In 1921, he left Hawaii to relocate to San Francisco, California where he joined the faculty of the California School of Fine Arts. He gave lectures on the art of etching, painted in his Montgomery Street studio, created murals, had one-man shows at the Galerie Beaux-Arts and continued to extend his influence on California art through his lectures at Berkeley and the California School of Fine Arts. Throughout his career, he exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Art, (1935) and the Galerie Beaux Arts, San Francisco (1929). He died in San Francisco in 1949.