Hayslette was born in Rupert, West Virginia, in 1930. His first one-man show took place in 1946, before he began his formal art studies at the American Academy the following year. He completed his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1952, where he worked closely with Alexander Archipenko and Egon Weiner.
Hayslette is represented in over three hundred private, corporate, and public collections, among which are the Rockefeller Foundation, Union Carbide, IBM, Stanford University, B.F. Goodrich, Raytheon Corporation, Wells Fargo Bank, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Australia, and the Ford Motor Corporation. He has exhibited widely in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states as well as in the Pacific Northwest where he now lives. After entering the field of exhibition and interior design in the mid-1950's, he won several awards for exhibition design. A stringently abridged list of his exhibitions includes the Feragil Gallery of New York City, the Findlay Gallery of Chicago, the Seattle Art Museum, the Illinois State Capital, Prints '80 Expo of New York City, Art '80 of Washington, D.C., Winn Galleries of Seattle, the Paige Gallery of Dallas, the Incurable Collector Gallery of Beverly Hills, and the Silver Cloud Gallery of Chicago.
Hayslette's love of travel is second only to his love of art, and his works have been influenced in various ways by the far corners of the world he has visited. He was so taken by the architecture he saw in China and Japan that he was moved to design a Japanese pagoda to serve as his studio. Nestled among the trees in a rural area of Puget Sound, his studio is surrounded by the things he loves most - a series of ponds with koi swimming in them, waterfalls, footbridges, and a teahouse for private meditation.
Hayslette considers himself a romantic artist, one who seeks to give his works a warm and gentle spiritual quality. For him, the essence and spirituality of his subject are more important than detail, and he finds that he can grasp this spiritual essence more completely when his subject is illumined by the dawn twilight, halfway between light and dark. Says Hayslette: Painting is a silent medium, and well suited to exploring the ethereal qualities of early morning light, before the sounds of the day invade the scene. Painting is a process which is accomplished in silence, but when everything works right, it culminates in a triumphant symphony for the soul. The viewer of Max Hayslette's work will witness a symphony of color and light, and their soul will be naturally and effortlessly won over by a quiet triumph of beauty.