Art Brokerage: Walter Hook was born and raised near Missoula, Montana in 1919 of Finnish immigrant parents. Eunice Brown, his 8th grade teacher was first to encourage Walt in art. He attended Bonner High School and years later created a 30-ft mural for the school, depicting loggers and mill workers in 1957.
Hook graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in math, art, and physics. He served in the Navy during WWII, and then worked for the Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he pursued a Master's Degree in Art. He and his wife Margaret raised chickens, inspiring scores of egg paintings. Hook painted eggs until 1986 and received awards for almost every piece.
They returned to Missoula when a teaching position opened in University of Montana's Art Department. Hook taught painting, drawing and calligraphy from 1955-1977 and was a guest artist at several northwestern and Canadian universities and galleries. As Chairman of the UM Art Department, he proved an excellent administrator and beloved colleague.
He "was interested in different phases of the art world, from pottery to collages to wood sculpture, oil painting, watercolor, acrylics tried everything and enjoyed it," including liturgical art, sculptured walls, stained glass, murals, large paintings, prints and lithographs. Hook was commissioned by churches, schools, the city of Missoula, and private collectors. His work is held in public collections at universities, galleries, banks, industrial facilities and business offices from California to Delaware.
Hook attributed his art business success to earlier work and study in mathematics, design and physics. He diligently entered juried shows and competitions, recognizing that "people look at art differently after it has received an award or other form of public recognition." He held more than 100 one-man shows nationwide and received more than 100 national awards during his lifetime, including Associate of the National Academy of Design, 1972; Western States Arts Foundation Grant, 1976; Montana Governor's Award in Visual Arts, 1985; Juror for Las Vegas Roundup, Northwest Annual in Seattle, Watercolor USA, and Watercolor Society of Alabama.
Hook's daughter remembers his sense of humor, love of art, delight in children and broad range of interests and talents. Their household was painted in turquoise, green, yellow and orange. Paintings went up and came down from walls in the style of a busy art gallery. A huckleberry picker fashioned from bits of welded metal, old baby buggy wheels, bicycle pump handles and yards of electrical cording plugged into a "currant" bush mystified and impressed neighbor children and delighted his own.