|Stone City Art Colony and School: 1932-1933
Edith A. Sternfeld
Edith A. Sternfeld (1898-1990) - student
Born in Chicago, Edith Sternfeld would complete her education at Nicholas Senn High School and at Northwestern University. Her professional art training was received at the Art Institute of Chicago (BAE) and at the University of Iowa (MA). She pursued additional art instruction at the Stone City Art Colony (1932) and at a summer session of the Colorado State College of Education. She would become recognized both regionally and nationally for her work in watercolors, even as her early years focused upon advertising design.
In the early 1930s, Sternfeld would begin her long history of painting awards: the 1932 Iowa Art Salon watercolor sweepstakes prize; Iowa Art Salon honorable mentions and various places (1933-1937); the purchase prize, All Iowa Exhibition (1937); honorable mention from the Iowa Federation of Women’s Clubs (1937); and first and second place watercolor awards at the Five-State Exhibition (1937).
Her training in art education was first applied at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she taught painting (1925-30). She then accepted an appointment at Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa) in 1930 as an art instructor. By 1932, she was head of the art department and held that post until she retired in 1967 as a full professor. Sternfeld specialized in studio art and art history, typically spending her summers with art colonies or attending design schools. Notable stays included: the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1945; the Padua Hills Art Colony (Claremont, CA), 1947; and the Rex Brandt summer school in Corona del Mar, California in the 1950s. Coupled with her art training was extensive travel across the United States and also abroad, including trips to Mexico, Europe, Canada, Africa, and the South Seas.
Sternfeld was exhibited widely, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; Milwaukee Art Institute; Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin, Madison; New York Water Color Club (NYC); the American Water Color Society (NYC); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Baltimore Museum of Art; Kansas City Art Institute; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha; Iowa Art Salon, Iowa State Fair; Memorial Union, Iowa State University, Ames; All Iowa Exhibition, Chicago; and the All American Exhibition (NYC).
One-man shows for Sternfeld were held in Cedar Rapids, the Des Moines Art Center (1956), and the Joslyn Art Museum. Major retrospectives of her work were held at the Grinnell College Gallery in May 1967 and April 1992. She was listed in Who’s Who in American Art (1938) and retired to Santa Barbara, California, where she died in September 1990.
Edith A. Sternfeld, March 1960
Edith Sternfeld in classroom with Nancy Burgerson ('62), September 21, 1961
Photos courtesy of Special Collections,
When Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony and School
Researcher & Author: Kristy Raine