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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

GLASELL, Christine "Criss"

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Photo courtesy: https://projects.mtmercy.edu/stonecity/artists/glasellc.html and Timothy P. McCarron

GLASELL, Christine "Criss" (Vienna, Austria, July 8, 1898--Evanston, IL, 1971) Immigrating to the United States in 1904 with her father, mother, two brothers and a sister, Criss lived first in Madison, Wisconsin and then moved to Chicago. She enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago and studied under Wellington Reynolds. (1) She also decorated hand-painted lampshades at a nearby shop. Donald GLASELL, her future husband, worked as a line supervisor at the plant; the couple married in June 1925. Moving from Chicago, they settled in Dubuque, Iowa and became involved with the Dubuque Art Center. Both Criss and Don worked as professional artists. In addition to her Chicago art studies, Criss also received art training from her husband and was a member of 1932-33 Stone City Art Colony. Grant Wood and Adrian Dornbush served as her major advisors. (2) She became known for his regional landscapes, murals, and portraits. (3)

"Winter Wood," Photo courtesy: Mason City Public Library Historical Collections.
"Little Red Church," Photo courtesy: Mason City Public Library Historical Collections.
"Alfalfa Harvest," Photo courtesy: Mason City Public Library Historical Collections.

Winning several awards at the Iowa Art Salon (1931-1940) led to Criss receiving the WPA mural commission for the Leon, Iowa post office. Her painting was named “Rural, Free Delivery.” Her painting, “Wheat Shocks,” was selected to represent Iowa at Rockefeller Center (NYC) in 1937. It had won awards from the Central States Fair [Aurora, IL], Iowa Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Dubuque Artists Show (1931). A third painting, “All American Tea Party,” shown at the 1936 Iowa Art Salon, received national attention at the ACA Gallery in New York City in 1937. The Glasells maintained an art studio on Dubuque’s Main Street for many years, making ceramics and hosting art association gatherings. During the GREAT DEPRESSION, the couple became regionally known for painting portraits at area fairs and bazaars. (4)

Criss was a member of the Iowa Artists Club, the National Association of Women Artists, the American Artists Congress, and Cooperative Mural Painters Group (1936). She won several awards through the Dubuque Art Association. Exhibitions featuring her paintings occurred at the Philadelphia Water Color Show, Little Gallery [Cedar Rapids], Corcoran Gallery, American Artists Congress, Iowa Federation of Women’s Clubs exhibit (1932), and the Midwestern Exhibit, Kansas City. Glasell had solo exhibitions in Des Moines, Mason City, Cedar Rapids, and other Iowa cities. (5)



1. "askArt," Online: http://www.askart.com/artist_bio/Criss_Christine_Albertina_Glasell/127576/Criss_Christine_Albertina_Glasell.aspx

2. Raine, Kristy. When Tillage Begins; The Stone City Art Colony and School. Published online October 2003 by the Busse Library. Online: https://projects.mtmercy.edu/stonecity/artists/glasellc.html

3. "askArt,"

4. Raine

5. Ibid.

Special appreciation to: Timothy P. McCarron.

"askArt," Online: http://www.askart.com/artist_bio/Criss_Christine_Albertina_Glasell/127576/Criss_Christine_Albertina_Glasell.aspx