|Minnesota Artist Anton |
This past week, at the Sherburne History Center, the annual Sherburne Area Visual Arts Showcase exhibited work from several local artists. With art history playing around in my mind, I wanted to take a moment and give mention to a couple of Minnesota visual artists. I want to acknowledge there is a force within the state that inspires painters, illustrators, photographers, and other visual artists. Here are four artists born or lived in Minnesota and played a significant impact on the national art world.
Sarah Louise Judd (1802-1881) born in Farmington, Connecticut. She came to Stillwater, Minnesota in 1845 as an educator. She also produced daguerreotypes and later, other portrait images. She is regarded as the first photographer in the state of Minnesota.
Perhaps the best known of all Minnesota visual artists, Wanda Gag (1893-1946) trained under the tutelage of her father, artist Anton Gag (1859-1908). Anton immigrated to Minnesota, settling in New Ulm where seven children, including Wanda, were born. Anton worked as a photographer and painter, best known for his oils depicting events of the Dakota War. Wanda trained at the Minneapolis School of Art and became a major illustrator and artist. Perhaps, best known for her published work, Millions of Cats.
Another Minnesota artist, Adolf Dehn (1895-1968), worked closely with Wanda Gag. As a lithographer, Dehn gained fame in the school of Regionalism and Social Realism. Although a brief period of artistic expression, Regionalism gave focus to views and images from the Midwest. As a significant artist in the school, Dehn received two Guggenheim fellowships to pursue and expand the influence of the period. His work appeared in a variety of popular magazines in the 1940s through 1960s, including: Vogue, New Yorker, and Life magazine.
Adolf Dehn, Anton and Wanda Gag, and Sarah Louise Judd serve as significant reminders of the many visual artists to develop in Minnesota. And, with the Sherburne Area Visual Arts Showcase, we continue to explore the artists and their imagination from Minnesota.