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 Olive Fell  (1896 - 1980)

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Lived/Active: Wyoming/Montana      Known for: etching, sculpture, Native American paintings

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Ad Code: 3
Olive Fell
from Auction House Records.
Untitled-Child in Red Dress
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Olive Fell was a printmaker, painter, muralist and sculptor and spent much of her career as an etcher, gaining widespread attention for that medium.  Born on June 1, 1896 on Big Timber Creek near Big Timber, Montana, she lived and worked for many years near Cody, Wyoming, becoming associated with that town.  Fell's home and studio overlooked Shoshone Lake from the north side of Shoshone Canyon, just west of Cody. she married S.S. Kensel in the 1930s but never used his name professionally.

Fell grew up in wilderness areas.  Her mother owned the Cody Flower Shop, and her father freighted supplies to distant trading posts and mining camps.  Fell attended the University of Wyoming.  She studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois and Art Students League, New York City, where she met and became a close friend of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Fell sold novelties and cards, featuring her "Little Cub Bear" creation, to tourists in national parks and resorts.  In the mid 1930s, she began loaning her etchings to the Buffalo Bill Museum for their seasonal exhibitions.  During the late 1940s to early 1950s, she created postcards and posters for Yellowstone National Park, and she also did oil and acrylic paintings of Indian children.  She also did sculpture in native woods, rocks and stone and created silk tapestries.

She was an artist who gained wide acclaim, although she lived in a remote location. In 1934, the Society of American Etchers selected her work, For Minds to Know, as one of the 100 best prints of that year, and later her Home on the Range was part of the Society's traveling show.

She died in February 1980 in Cody, Wyoming.

Phil and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick,  An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West

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