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Snelgrove, Isabel Pearl
b. 1887; d. 1980
Discipline: Painting

Isabel Pearl Snelgrove was born in Michigan and decided at an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in art. She studied oil painting and watercolor at the Art Institute in Chicago and further studied art at the Colorado Springs Art Center, the Cleveland School of Art, and Detroit School of Applied Art. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Olivet College (in Olivet, Michigan) and a Masters degree from the University of Michigan.

In 1930, Snelgrove took a position in the Art Department at the University of North Dakota (UND) after teaching at colleges in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, and Oklahoma. She served for a time as the department’s acting head.

A prolific painter, she worked with a variety of styles including portraits, still-lifes, flowers, and landscapes. Over 1933 and 1934, she produced a hundred color abstract designs based on the Century of Progress International Exposition at the Chicago World’s Fair. Later, she created a series of twenty watercolors of scenes along Highway 2 between North Dakota and the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, two of her pieces – “Milling Wheat” and a portrait of former UND president Thomas Kane – belong to the university’s permanent collection.

In 1935, Snelgrove wrote a textbook entitled The Practice and Appreciation of Design. Periodically revised and enlarged, the book was widely used in many colleges and universities.

In 1950, she received the Citation Award, which added her name to the Honor Roll of the American Artists Professional League.

- Ben Nemenoff

Bibliography:

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

“Snelgrove, Isabel P.” AskART.com. July 21, 2004. <http://www.askart.com>

 
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