Gayle Hoskins, 1910. Gayle Porter Hoskins Manuscript Collection, Helen Farr Sloan Library, Delaware Art Museum
Gayle Porter Hoskins
Date: American painter, illustrator, and muralist, 1887–1962
Biography: Born in Indiana in 1887, Hoskins was raised in Denver, Colorado, where he developed his knowledge of the western landscape and of horses, which would inform many of his illustrations for the rest of his life. At fourteen, he was a cartoonist for the Denver Post. In 1904, the seventeen year old Hoskins moved with his family to Chicago after the death of his mother. There he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. By 1907, he was creating mural designs for Marshall Field and Company and had his first illustrations published in Redbook magazine.

He met Howard Pyle during one of the illustrator's intermittent visits to Chicago, where he taught some classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Despite the brevity of their interaction, Pyle invited Hoskins to study with him in Wilmington in 1907. They worked together until Pyle's departure to Europe in 1910.

Following Pyle's death in 1911, Hoskins' reputation grew as commissions increased. By 1918 he was well-established; he produced illustrations for many leading publishers of magazines and books. During the Depression, when illustration commissions were limited, he illustrated pulp fiction and covers, especially with Western themes. He later returned to historical subjects and also took up portraiture.

In 1909 he married his first wife, Kathleen, whom he knew from Colorado. They divorced and by 1924 he married Alene Rollo. They lived at 1616 Rodney Street, a complex of art studios and living quarters, in Wilmington.

In 1928, Hoskins became a founding instructor at The Wilmington Academy of Art, where he taught illustration, life drawing, costume sketching, composition and antique classes. H was also a co-founder, with Frank Schoonover, of the Wilmington Sketch Club and of the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts (which eventually became the Delaware Art Museum). He often exhibited his work at the Society.

A Small School of Art. Rowland Elzea and Elizabeth H. Hawkes, editors. Delaware Art Museum, 1980