Frederick Hammersley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1919. He attended the University of Idaho from 1936 to 1938 followed by the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles from 1940 to 1942. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. At the end of his service, he was stationed in Paris, where he attended classes at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1945. Under the G.I. Bill, he returned to the Chouinard School of Art in 1946, and then continued his artistic studies at the Jepson Art Institute from 1947 to 1950.
He lived in Los Angeles in the 1950s. During that time, he developed his distinct “Hard-edged” technique and began associating with a small group of artists known as the Abstract Classicists. This hard-edged style made its debut in 1959 in an exhibition entitled “Four Abstract Classicists,” which included works by Hammersley, John McLaughlin, Lorser Feitelson, and Karl Benjamin. In 1968, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
His artwork may be found in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM; the Baltimore Art Museum, Baltimore, MD; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; and the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, among others.
Hammersley died in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2009.