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 Muriel Vincent Sibell Wolle  (1898 - 1977)



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Lived/Active: Colorado      Known for: ghost town-landscape, illustrator

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Ad Code: 3
Muriel Vincent Sibell Wolle
from Auction House Records.
Quicksilver Mine Near Robinette, Oregon--1959
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Muriel Sibell Wolle was born April 3, 1898, in Brooklyn, New York, growing up there, wanting, as a child, to be a costume designer. In 1920, she graduated from the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (now Parsons School of Design) with degrees in costume design and advertising after three years of study. In 1928, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University, and in 1930, a Master of Science degree from the University of Colorado, which, in 1976, the year before her death, declared her one of its three "Alumni of the Century".

Her long teaching career began in 1920-1923, at the Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman's University), Denton. From 1923-1926, she taught at her alma mater, the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, and, in 1925, at their summer branch in Colorado Springs. This latter experience apparently opened the possibility of moving permanently to Colorado, for Wolle became a member of the art department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1926, being department head from 1928 to 1949, and a full professor from 1936 until her retirement in 1966. In 1945 she married Frances Wolle, also a teacher at the University.

Wolle's arrival in Colorado in the summer of 1925 sparked her interest in ghost towns, after a visit to Central City. She began by painting and drawing the old buildings, but by 1932, also began writing about them. Two early pamphlets, Ghost Cities of Colorado, 1933, and Cloud Cities of Colorado, 1934, were followed by a major work on the subject, Stampede to Timberline, 1949, which she illustrated. She published The Bonanza Trail, in 1953, which explored all twelve western mining states, then, in 1963, Montana Pay Dirt. Not surprisingly, ghost town themes were the main subject of her work in watercolor and lithographic crayon, though other subjects included Santos, Santa Fe; New Mexico Storm; Taos Church; Pine Dance, Santo Domingo; and Sanctuario, Chimayo. Muriel Wolle's work is in the collections of the Montana Historical Society, Helena; Denver Public Library, and University of Colorado.

Wolle's one-person exhibitions included the Denver Art Museum, in 1933 and 1956; Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, 1945; Maryland Art Institute, Baltimore, 1945; and Iowa State University, Ames, 1967. Her many group shows over a fifty-year career include the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, New York; Joslyn Memorial Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; New York Watercolor Society, New York; Cincinnati Museum of Art; American Watercolor Society, New York; and the Springfield Museum of Art, Missouri. Wolle was also one of five artist faculty members at the University of Colorado calling themselves "The Prospectors," who, from 1931 to 1941, exhibited in major art venues in twenty-two states.

Muriel Wolle died January 9, 1977, in Boulder.

References to Muriel Wolle's life and work include: Who Was Who in American Art; Who's Who in American Art 1953-1976; Petteys; American Women; Who's Who of American Women 1958-1973; Dawdy 1; Samuels &. Samuels, Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia; Who's Who in America 1976-1977; Who's Who in Colorado 1958; Dictionary of International Biography 1971; Bluemel; Kovinick; Colorado Women Artists; Marturano; Palette, Dec 1932; Denver Post, 7 May 1933, 10 Nov 1957, 25 Mar 1962, 12 Jan 1964, 23 Oct 1966; Rocky Mountain News (Denver), 4 Jan 1959, 27 Aug 1961; Great Falls Tribune, 22 Mar 1964; Boulder Daily Camera, 8 May 1975, 13 Jun 1976, 10 Jan 1977; Western History Department Collection, Denver Public Library; M. Wolle, 1975, 1976.

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

Source: Who's Who in American Art, 1959

Muriel Sibell Wolle was born in Brooklyn, NY on April 3, 1898. She studied at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art: New York University, BS in Art, University of Colorado, MA.

Member: Boulder, CO Art Guild, Colorado Education Association; Idaho State Historical Society; The Westerners; Colorado State Historical; Montana State Historical Society; Wyoming State Historical Society.

Awards: Kansas City, Art Institute, 1932.

Medal: 1934; NAWA, 1934; Springfield, MO AA

Submitted by:
Katherine Tozier

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