Hill, Robert Jerome (1878–1942)

By: Diana Church

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

Updated: March 3, 2021

Robert Jerome Hill, artist, son of Robert Jerome and Kate Easton (Raymond) Hill, was born in Austin, Texas, on June 19, 1878. He married a woman named Emmy, studied art under Janet Downie at the University of Texas, and moved to New York City; there he studied at the Art Students League under Walter Appleton Clark, John Henry Twachtman, Robert Blum, Howard Chandler Christy, George Bridgman, and Louis Loeb. In New York, Hill attended lectures by William Merritt Chase and studied commercial illustration under Kenyon Cox. Illustrators for Scribner's Monthly Magazine probably influenced his later decision to return to New York. After two years of study in New York (1900–02), he returned to Austin and ran a studio for a while. By 1904 he was living in Dallas, where he worked as a staff artist for the Dallas Morning News until 1906. In 1906–07 he taught art at Bryan High School in Dallas. In 1907 he moved back to New York, where he started a studio and did freelance illustration.

By the fall of 1908 Hill had returned to Dallas. For the next two years he studied painting under Hans Kunz-Meyer, who had recently come from Germany to teach at the Texas Art League. In 1911 he worked briefly as a draftsman for the Dorsey Printing Company, in 1912–13 he worked as an artist, and from 1914 to 1916 he was the owner and photographer of Schreiber's Studio on Elm Street. By 1917 Hill was apparently getting enough commissions to earn a living as a full-time artist. In 1918 he began submitting paintings to the Dallas Woman's Forum exhibitions. In 1918 he first entered the Fort Worth Art Association exhibition, and in 1921 he began entering the State Fair of Texas exhibitions. In 1926 Hill became the first curator of the Dallas Public Art Gallery, located in Fair Park. In this position he continued painting and entering exhibitions. In 1929 he took first prize in the Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition for a miniature portrait. Though he was trained as a commercial artist, he painted landscapes and portraits for the rest of his life. Hill died in Dallas on February 24, 1942.

Diana Church, Guide to Dallas Artists, 1890–1917 (Plano, Texas, 1987). Peter Haskins Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, Connecticut: Sound View, 1985). Frances Battaile Fisk, A History of Texas Artists and Sculptors (Abilene, Texas, 1928; facsimile rpt., Austin: Morrison, 1986). Esse Forrester-O'Brien, Art and Artists of Texas (Dallas: Tardy, 1935).

  • Education
  • Educators
  • Art and Architecture
  • Visual Arts
  • Illustration
  • Painting
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana Church, “Hill, Robert Jerome,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hill-robert-jerome.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995
March 3, 2021

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