Mary Nohl: Inside & Outside

Overview

Outsider artist, sophisticated naïf, and witch are all labels that have described Mary Nohl (1914–2001), creator of a magical and mysterious site on the shore of Lake Michigan near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here she constructed huge concrete heads, stone-encrusted creatures, and imposing driftwood figures to fill the yard surrounding a modest cottage where she spent most of her life. Carved heads hang from the eaves, wind chimes tinkle in the trees, and pebbles at her doorstep spell “Boo.” The cottage is painted and ...

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Overview

Outsider artist, sophisticated naïf, and witch are all labels that have described Mary Nohl (1914–2001), creator of a magical and mysterious site on the shore of Lake Michigan near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here she constructed huge concrete heads, stone-encrusted creatures, and imposing driftwood figures to fill the yard surrounding a modest cottage where she spent most of her life. Carved heads hang from the eaves, wind chimes tinkle in the trees, and pebbles at her doorstep spell “Boo.” The cottage is painted and embellished inside and out with wooden fish, boats, animals, and leaping figures. Wire, hemp, chicken bones, egg shells, aluminum pans, broken glass—almost any castoff materials available—were used by Nohl to create her art and ornament her surroundings.
    Mary Nohl: Inside & Outside offers the first comprehensive look into the unusual life of a remarkable artist whose surroundings stand as a monument to her creative personality. Establishing Nohl as a notable “outsider” artist, Barbara Manger and Janine Smith offer an inside look at an artist whose idiosyncratic art—pieces whose allure is only heightened by the intrigue and legends surrounding their creator—attracted generations of visitors who peered through the fence at Nohl’s wildly decorated yard but rarely caught a glimpse of the elusive artist.

“This sensitive, meticulously researched book sheds needed light on the life and work of an underappreciated visionary. It should advance the cause of preserving Mary Nohl’s fragile work in all of its fevered complexity.”—Whitney Gould, former architecture critic and urban landscape writer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Winner, Kingery/Derleth Book-Length Nonfiction Award, Council for Wisconsin Writers 

 

Winner, Cover Design: 3 or more colors, Midwest Book Awards

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615251189
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 134
  • Sales rank: 629,861
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Manger has taught collegiate-level printmaking and drawing for many years and remains a practicing artist. She is also the founder of Artists Working in Education (AWE), a non-profit Milwaukee-based organization providing art experience for at-risk children. Janine Smith is an award-winning book designer who owns and operates Designsmith, a graphic design company in Fox Point, Wisconsin.

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Table of Contents

Introduction                                     
1. Childhood                                  
2. College Years                             
3. Wanderlust                                  
4. Teaching                                       
5. A Most Unusual Pottery         
6. The Creative Years                   
7. The Witch’s House                   
8. Leaving the Lakeshore              
9. Legacy                                            

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