Criss (Christine Albertina) Glasell
(1898 - 1971)
Criss (Christine Albertina) Glasell was active/lived in Iowa, Illinois / Austria. Criss Glasell is known for regional landscape, mural, portrait.
Criss (Christine Albertina) Glasell
Biography from the Archives of askART
The following biography is submitted by Don Leon Glasell, son of the artist, September 2003.
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Criss Glasell was born July 8, 1898 as Christine Albertina
Rosner in a small town outside of Vienna, Austria and came to the
United States with her mechanical engineer father, her mother, two
brothers and a sister when she was about 12 years old. They first
lived in Madison, Wisconsin and then later moved to Chicago.
after the move, she enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago and
studied under Wellington Reynolds. After graduation she took a
job decorating hand painted lampshades at a near north shop. It
was there she met her future husband Don Glasell.
married in Crown Point, Indiana, they lived in an apartment near
Sunnyside and Western in Chicago and had a son named Don Leon on June
8, 1927. Shortly after the Depression they decided to move from Chicago
to Dubuque Iowa to enjoy and paint the lovely surrounding countryside
and became active in the Dubuque Art Center. They established an
art store in the heart of downtown with an upstairs gallery and
home. They managed to make a living by also doing lots of
portraits at fairs and bazaars.
It was also while living in
Dubuque and exhibiting their art at various shows and fairs that they
met and studied with Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Francisa Chapin
and Adrian Dornbush. Glasell and family attended Grant Wood's Stone
City Art Colony in the summer of 1932 and lived in one of the covered
wagons at that Colony while her husband taught as one of Grant Wood's
Along about 1936, her husband was offered a job to head
the newly established Art Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the family
relocated to that area for about three and a half years. That was
the time of the WPA programs and both Criss and Don worked on projects
supervised by Grant Wood. She was awarded the WPA mural
commission for the Leon Iowa post office named Rural Free Delivery. Her painting, Wheat Shocks,
was selected to represent Iowa at Rockefeller Center (NYC) in 1937
after winning awards from the Central States Fair (Aurora, IL), Iowa
Federation of Women's Clubs, and the Dubuque Artists Show (1931).
continued to actively exhibit her work in many regional, state and
national exhibitions and fairs, winning many prizes. Her work was
exhibited at the Iowa Art Salon, 1931-4, 1938, 1939 & 1941.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 1934, The Corcoran Gallery of
Art in 1934, The Joslyn Memorial in 1934, and the Kansas City Art
Institute in 1935 & 1936.
About 1939, there was an opening
to be the Assistant Director of the Federal Art Center in Sioux City,
Iowa and the family relocated to that city. She continued to exhibit
her work including at the Cincinnati Art Museum, 1939, The New York
World's Fair in 1939, the National Association of Women's Artists in
1945, and the Argent Gallery in 1946. A couple of her most famous
pictures include a picture titled Blue Orpins (Blue Chickens), which won over Grant Wood at an Iowa State fair and a 1936 satire on Grant Wood titled All American Tea Party. Both pictures are a part of the permanent collection of the Cedar Rapids Iowa Museum of Art.
1945, the family moved to Bloomfield, Iowa for a couple of years, but
her husband's job as designer for a wood novelty company was too far a
field from their art world, and they moved back to Dubuque, Iowa their
first scenic love. While they were able to make a living there
for many years with their art talents, the modern art movement suddenly
took over around the late 40's and their regionalism art style was then
out of phase with the art world. Criss became more involved with
local activities such as the Women's Club, and her husband took a
steady job as a draftsman at the Dubuque John Deere Tractor Company.
Criss's husband finally retired from John Deere in 1962, the couple
remained in Dubuque and continued turning out their art and teaching a
sketch class that met regularly at their home until Don contracted
pancreactic cancer. They then closed up their home in 1964 and
moved to be near their son in Chicago. Don later died at Hines
Veterans Hospital in September of 1965.
Living now in
Evanston, Illinois, Criss Glasell continued her painting but suffered a
stroke a year later that paralyzed her right arm. She was
determined to continue her art and trained herself to use her left arm
and hand. She produced a number of portraits and drawings with
her left hand until suffering a fatal stroke in 1971.
Glasell was a member of the National Association of Women Artists, the
American Artists Congress and the Iowa Artist Guild. A number of
her works in all media are a part of the permanent collection of both
the Cedar Rapids Iowa Museum of Art and the Dubuque Iowa Museum of Art
as well as being in the homes of many art collectors.
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