Armin Carl Hansen was an important member of the early northern California school of Impressionism. Hansen was a frequent fixture on the cliffs overlooking the churning waters and crashing waves of the Pacific. There he was at his best painting en plein air -- outdoors and on location. Paradoxically his rugged impressionistic style had a pleasing soft edge to it, his style earned him acclaim in art circles statewide and nationally, and his paintings were in demand by art collectors on both the east and west coasts.
Born in San Francisco, California on Oct. 23, 1886. Hansen received his first art instruction from his father, Herman, the famous painter of the old West and frontier life. The younger Hansen later studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute under Arthur Mathews during 1903-06 followed by two years in Stuttgart, Germany at the Royal Academy under Carlos Grethe. After visiting the art centers of Paris, Munich, Holland, and Belgium, he signed-on as deckhand to a Norwegian steam trawler, the first of many boats which he would crew during the next four years.
Returning to San Francisco in 1912, he taught at University of California at Berkeley and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Settling in Monterey in 1913, he taught private classes and was instrumental in forming the Carmel Art Institute. Hansen had a studio-home at 716 Pacific until building a home next door to artist Julian Greenwell on El Dorado Street. He lived there until his death on April 23, 1957. His seascapes, coastal scenes, and depictions of the fishing industry of the Monterey Peninsula brought him to the pinnacle of fame in American art. He is quoted, "Every move I have made and everything that I have done has always been to go back to water and to the men that gave it romance".