Dennis Beall, printmaker, educator, curator, and administrator, was born in 1929 in Chickasha, Oklahoma. After three years in the U.S. Navy, which included attending Electronics Materiel School on Treasure Island off of San Francisco, Beall returned to Oklahoma in 1950 to attend Oklahoma City University. Relocating to California in 1953, he enrolled at San Francisco State University. Punctuating his studies with trips to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in 1958.
During his course of study at San Francisco State, Beall produced a body of abstract expressionist color lithographs which were created from single stones and transparent color washes. His first solo exhibition in 1957 at the East/West Gallery in San Francisco featured these lithographs. However, in 1958, he turned to intaglio printmaking with the assistance of John Ihle.
Beall was Registrar at the Oakland Art Museum briefly in 1958 before becoming Curator at the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts in San Francisco. He held this position until 1965 when he accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Art in 1976 and Professor Emeritus in 1992. Beall's work has been featured in over twenty-five solo exhibitions and has been awarded an equal number of honors. Shown in over 200 exhibitions internationally, his work is held in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Library of Congress, the Achenbach Foundation, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum and the Worcester Art Museum.