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Coordinates: 42°07′N 91°21′W / 42.11°N 91.35°W / 42.11; -91.35

The Stone City Art Colony, lasted two summers, 1932 and 1933. The colony gathered on the John A. Green Estate in the small town of Stone City, Iowa.



The colony was started by Edward Rowan, director of the Little Gallery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Adrian Dornbush, former director of the Flint Institute of Art and a Little Gallery art instructor, and famous local artist Grant Wood. Rowan was the primary facilitator of the creation of the colony, and his commitment to the project led the Carnegie Foundation to invest $1000 in the colony’s creation.[1]

The Stone City Art Colony was meant as an alternative to more established artist colonies in Woodstock and Santa Fe, allowing artists in the Midwest to have an easily accessible site for residency. Residents lived in ice house wagons that they decorated themselves. Wood later employed many of the artists at the colony in the Public Works of Art Project (later named Civil Works Administration) which he administered for the state of Iowa, producing a large number of Depression Era murals (thanks to the New Deal) that still decorate many post offices and public buildings in Iowa.[2]

The art colony was always plagued by financial difficulties; 1933 was its final summer and it was already suffering financial hardships even before opening for the year. When it did close that fall, its assets were sold off to pay its debts. Even though Wood and the other faculty taught there free of charge, the colony had never become financially self-sustaining.[1]

Art Colony Faculty

Adrian Dornbush, painting instructor and colony director

Edward Rowan, lecturer and consultant for the colony

Grant Wood, advanced painting instructor

Arnold Pyle, framing designer and instructor

David McCosh, painting and lithography instructor

Francis Chapin, lithography

Florence Sprague, sculpture instructor

Marvin Cone, figure drawing instructor

Art Colony Students

  • Adams, Susan [Dubuque, IA]
  • Allen, Josephine [Des Moines, IA]
  • Allen, Lee [Des Moines, IA]
  • Allison, Harold Palmer
  • Bortin, Fran
  • Bradley, Nedda [Des Moines, IA]
  • Branagan, Iris M. [Cedar Falls, IA]
  • Briggs, Lela Powers (Mrs. W.A. Briggs) [Waterloo, IA]
  • Brown, Helen Gardner [Ottumwa, IA]
  • Butler, Earl W. (Mr. and Mrs.) [Oelwein, IA]
  • Caldwell, Georgia Leigh [River Forest, IL]
  • Carey, Justyn [Fort Dodge, IA]
  • Carpenter, Bethane (Bethane Carpenter Hall) [Coon Rapids, IA]
  • Carriel, Mary Thompson (Mrs. C.A. Carriel) [Dubuque, IA]
  • Christie, Mae Allyn (Mae Allyn Schupbach) [Tulsa, OK]
  • Coffman, Esther (Mrs. Arthur Dorothy) [Fairfield, IA]
  • Cook, Eleanor [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • Correthers, Leslie Young [Rockford, IL]
  • Cowden, Harry D. [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • Crabb, Harriet [Mason City, IA]
  • Culp, Wendell (Mrs.) [Omaha, NE]
  • Davis, Morgan [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • De Jong, Ruth [Excelsior, MN]
  • Ellsworth, Cheryl (Mrs. Robert Lawther) [Davenport, IA]
  • Ellsworth, Lois [Ames, IA]
  • Ely, Sturges [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • Evans, Grace French (Mrs. Henry F. Evans) [Davenport, IA]
  • Ferguson, Bernard [Ottumwa, IA]
  • Ferguson, Donald B. (Mrs.) [Rockford, IL]
  • Fogelstrom, Alma [Omaha, NE]
  • Frankel, Margo Rene (Mrs.Joe Osherenko) [Des Moines, IA]
  • Funk, Joseph (Mr.and Mrs.) [Ottumwa, IA]
  • Gebers, Nellie M. (Mr. John Gebers) [Lincoln, IA]
  • Gertsch, Emma [Des Moines, IA]
  • Ginsberg, Betty Ruth [Des Moines, IA]
  • Gratiot, Eugenia (Mrs. Robert Loetscher) [Davenport, IA]
  • Gratiot, Gene [Dubuque, IA]
  • Guiher, Bertha Wainwright (Mrs. John H. Guiher)[Winterset, IA]
  • Hansen, Joanne [Ames, IA]
  • Herman, Louise [Boone, IA]
  • House, Freda [Davenport, IA]
  • Houts, Don [Des Moines, IA]
  • Jaeger, Oscar P. [Dubuque, IA]
  • Jeffrey, Everett [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • Keeler, Charles B. [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • Keeler, E.R. (Mrs.) [Chicago, IL]
  • Kelly, Anthony J. [Davenport, IA]
  • Kerfoot, Margaret (Margaret Kerfoot Jennison; Mrs. Marshall Jennison) [St. Paul, MN]
  • Kitt, Emma [Racine, WI] ; {residence cited as Ames, IA}
  • Klimo (or Klima), Vaclav [Mount Vernon, IA]
  • Kruidenier, Florence Cowles (Mrs. David S. Kruidenier)[Des Moines, IA]
  • Lepley, Marion [Ames, IA]
  • Macmullen, Mabel [Des Moines, IA]
  • Mansfield, Edward (Mrs.) [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • McBroom, Louise Garst (Mrs. Leland McBroom) [Des Moines, IA]
  • Meister, George [Dubuque, IA]
  • Mendelsohn, Marjorie [Des Moines, IA]
  • Meyermann, Mildred [Boone, IA]
  • Montgomery, Carrie Ellen (Mrs. W. A. Montgomery) [Cedar Rapids, IA];
  • Morey, Bertha Graves [Ottumwa, IA]
  • Naftzger, Robinette [Sioux City, IA]
  • Neville, Dorothy [Kewanee, IL]
  • Nissen, Mary [Omaha, NE]
  • Orwig, Louise [Des Moines, IA]
  • Parrot, Jessie [Waterloo, IA]
  • Patton, John [Cedar Rapids, IA]
  • Peek, Adeline [Moline, IL]
  • Peek, Eloise [Moline, IL]
  • Perkins, Bill [Council Bluffs, IA]
  • Pickard, Dorothy [Kansas City, MO]
  • Pierce, Jane [Des Moines, IA]
  • Polk, Ben [Des Moines, IA]
  • Postel, E. Everett [Iowa City, IA]
  • Roberts, Newton [Ottumwa, IA]
  • Ronin, William [Omaha, NE]
  • Sacchi, Mary [Lincoln, NE]
  • Saunders, A.W. (Aulus Ward) [Iowa City, IA]
  • Shackell, Charles (Mrs.) [Independence, IA]
  • Sharp, John [Eldon, IA]
  • Shuman, John R. [Minneapolis, MN]
  • Silvers, Herbert (Mr. and Mrs.) [New York City]
  • Spahn, Dorothy Rose [Davenport, IA]
  • Stein, A.G. [Dubuque, IA]
  • Stone, Helen Loosley (Mrs.) [Moline, IL]
  • Tepsic, Ann [Des Moines, IA]
  • Thalinger, Jean [St. Louis, MO]
  • Tilton, Florence (Mrs. Fred Ahlfeld) [Normal, IL]
  • Townsend, Pauline [Elliott, IA]
  • Triplett, Margaret F. [Storm Lake, IA]
  • Turner, Constance [Minneapolis, MN]
  • Van Alstine, Mary J. (Mrs. L.H. Van Alstine) [Gilmore City, IA]
  • Van Duzee, Kate Keith [Dubuque, IA]
  • Walker, Dick [Rock Island, IL]
  • Walling, Letitia [Des Moines, IA]
  • Ware, Buhl [Des Moines, IA]
  • Weaver, Florence [Des Moines, IA]
  • Weaver, Margaret [Boone, IA]
  • Wilder, Emory (Mrs.) [Chicago, IL]
  • Wilkerson, Cecil (Mr. and Mrs.) [Waterloo, IA]
  • Williams, Frank
  • Wilson, Anna Mary [Des Moines, IA]


  1. ^ a b Kristy Raine (2003). "When Tillage Begins: Stone City Art Colony and School". Mount Mercy College.  
  2. ^ "Grant Wood Murals". Iowa State University e-Library.  

External links



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