Pioneer Modernists


Minnesota’s First Generation of Women Artists

by Julie L’Enfant

Dimensions: 12″ x 9″, 260 pages, full color throughout

HARDCOVER w/dustjacket

ISBN: 978-1-890434-83-0

Winner of the Minnesota Book Award:
Best Minnesota Book!

IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY Frances Cranmer Greenman, Alice Hugy, Elsa Laubach Jemne, Clara Mairs, Evelyn Raymond, Jo Lutz Rollins, and Ada Wolfe established successful careers as artists in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. They played significant roles in the development of the art schools, galleries, and arts organizations that make the Twin Cities a major cultural center today. Yet their strong reputations were eclipsed mid-century by the rise of Abstract Expressionism and other male-dominated modernist movements.

Drawing on unpublished papers, contemporaneous accounts, and interviews with descendants and collectors, Pioneer Modernists presents a new picture of their cosmopolitan art training, multi-faceted careers, and sometimes unconventional lives, set in the context of the tumultuous events of the twentieth century. It examines their work–paintings, prints, decorative work, and sculptures—in terms of its humanistic ideas, technical sophistication, and visual appeal. By relating this work to national and international art movements, Pioneer Modernists contributes to a new understanding of Modernism as richly diverse.

This study grows out of a 2007 exhibition at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, “In Her Own Right: Minnesota’s First Generation of Women Artists.” It is enriched by numerous reproductions of works in public and private collections, many never before published.

Julie L’Enfant has written articles and reviews on a variety of writers and artists. Her study of a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, William Rossetti’s Art Criticism: The Search for Truth in Victorian Art, was published in 1999. In 2002 Afton Historical Society Press published The Gag Family: German-Bohemian Artists in America.


Minnesota’s Artful Women

Minnesota’s Female Modernists

New book looks at women who helped establish the Minnesota art scene

SKU: 978-1-890434-83-0 Category:


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