LOOK INSIDE THE LIFE — AND HOME — OF LEGENDARY 'OUTSIDER' ARTIST MARY NOHL
"Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art" by Barbara Manger and Janine Smith, tells the story of Milwaukee-born artist, Mary Nohl. A prolific and fanciful maker who worked in a variety of media, Nohl was both a mysterious figure and an iconic "outsider" artist. This new addition to the Badger Biographies series captures her life and will capture the imagination of readers, and artists, of all ages.
Nohl didn't just make art — she lived it. From the time she was young, Mary enjoyed making things, from the model airplane that won her a citywide prize to assignments in shop class, where she learned to work with tools.
Her interests in art blossomed during the years she spent training at the Art Institute of Chicago, leading to a lifetime of curiosity and ventures into new artistic media. From pottery to silver jewelry and oil painting to concrete sculpture, Mary explored new ways of making art. Many of her pieces were made from found objects that other people might think of as junk — like chicken bones, bedsprings and sand that she made into concrete.
Nohl, who made her home on the shores of Lake Michigan, decorated the interior of her cottage with bright colors and eye-catching figures in driftwood and glass. During her later years, her home became known as the "Witch's House" — a place of local legend known far beyond Fox Point. Though she died in 2001, Mary's legacy continues. Her art is held at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, and her home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The popular Badger Biographies series for young readers explores the lives of famous and not-so-famous figures in Wisconsin history. The Wisconsin Historical Society Press is proud to celebrate the release of this, the 21st book in the series.