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Mattson, Julia
Discipline: Ceramics/Pottery

Born in Kensington, Minnesota, Julia Mattson’s youth was dedicated to studying a wide variety of visual arts. She attended the Art Institute in Chicago, where she studied design and oil painting; and later studied pencil and oil painting at the Taos School of Art, and Indian art at the University of New Mexico. In 1924, she graduated from the Ceramics Department at the University of North Dakota (UND) and immediately joined the staff there.

Although she would continue to work there until 1963, Mattson found time to travel. She visited several locales all over the United States and Europe, and made numerous watercolors and oil paintings.

Her pottery and paintings were displayed widely in the U.S.: the American Association of University Women exhibition in Denver, the Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago, the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, and at almost every national convention held by Delta Phi Delta (the National Honorary Art Fraternity) during Mattson’s lifetime.

In 1951, she earned a Master of Arts degree from UND. Her thesis was entitled “A Survey of Indian Pottery, Arts and Crafts and Symbolism, West of the Mississippi River.”

She retired from both UND and professional artistry in 1963.

- Ben Nemenoff


Barr, Bob. “UND: University of North Dakota.” North Dakota Pottery Collectors Society, May 5, 2004. <>.

Barr, Paul E. North Dakota Artists. Grand Forks: University of North Dakota Library, 1954.

Taylor, Edwin Mrs. Catalogue of Art Workers Within North Dakota. Bismarck: American Association of University Women (local branch), 1945.

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