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 Gisella Loeffler  (c. 1902 - 1977)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico / Mexico/Austria      Known for: Naive, folk-art style painting, crafts, Christmas card design

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Ad Code: 3
Gisella Lacher Loeffler
from Auction House Records.
Hansel and Gretel
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Gisella Loeffler (c. 1902-1977)

Born in Austria, Gisella Loeffler was noted as a Taos, New Mexico artist of decorative child folklore figures and illustration talents.  Her cheerful Austrian and Mexican motifs were popular among her peers including Mabel Dodge Luhan.

Loeffler signed her work simply "Gisella."

From the Austrian Alps, she came with her family to the U. S. in 1908 and settled in St. Louis, Missouri where she, age five, was very disappointed in the drab appearance of her surroundings compared to where she had come from.  Instead of flowers in her front yard, she found paved bricks.

She studied art at Washington University, created posters for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and began working in batik on textiles.  In the early 1920s, she married writer and music critic Edgar Lacher.

An exhibition of Taos painter, Ernest Blumenschein, also from St. Louis, aroused her interest, and in 1933 she, divorced and moved with her two daughters to Taos where she lived the remainder of her life and found the happiness that had eluded her with her first husband.   She married Frank Chase, a New Englander, and traveled extensively in Mexico and South America, and did paintings and illustrations of Navajo and Pueblo children in children's stories, and also did numerous murals for childrens' hospitals across the United States.

A description of Loeffler and her home in Taos was provided by Claire Morrill in her book, A Taos Mosaic: "Color is her life.  She wears it, peasant-like---raw yellows and purples, reds, high blues, shocking pinks and greens, all thrown together in full woolen skirts, gaily embroidered blouses and Latin-American shawls and rebosos.  . . .Color runs uninhibited in her house studio, which might be mistaken for the Black Forest cottage of Hansel and Gretel." (131-132)

Exhibited:  California Watercolor Society, 1944 (floral still life).

Sources include:
Claire Morrill, A Taos Mosaic
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Michael R. Grauer, "Gisella Loeffler. A Taos Legend" Southwest Art, January 1, 1970

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Gisella Loeffler is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Taos Pre 1940

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