Abandoned Wisconsin Cheese Factory
Dr. Madeline Ritz (1903 - 1972) was head of the art department at South Dakota State University from 1945 - 1969. She brought extensive experience to her role, having received her M.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. The Madeline Ritz Memorial Art Scholarship was established for SDSU art students after her passing and the SDSU student art gallery was named in her honor in 1977.
Ritz was an early promoter of the Dunn collection at SDSU and a central figure in fundraising for the museum. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, she gave tours of the Dunn collection then housed in the SDSU Pugsley Student Union and organized the sale of Dunn reproductions. By 1965 proceeds from reproductions sales amounted to $30,000, which went directly to the museum capital campaign. Read more and see photos of Pugsley Student Union's "Dunn galleries."
Ritz’s Abandoned Wisconsin Cheese Factory likely dates to the 1940s or 1950s and is one of her strongest known works.
Madeline Ritz (center) talks with Oscar Howe and Vera Way Marghab at the dedication of the South Dakota Memorial Art Center, May 31, 1970.
Image credit: 2016-07-07. South Dakota Sate University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library
"Abandoned Wisconsin Cheese Factory"
oil on canvas, n.d.
South Dakota Art Museum Collection, 1988.12.
Gift of Mrs. Eleanor Evenson.
Madeline Ritz’s letter to Harvey Dunn student, Steven R. Kidd, illustrates the odd arrangement of having a “gallery” in a student union, resulting in funny circumstances.
Explore "50 Works for 50 Years"
South Dakota Art Museum makes no representation that it is the owner of any copyright in the works of art in its collection. It is the user’s responsibility to obtain necessary permissions and pay required fees for the use of copyrighted material. Users are held fully responsible for any infringement of copyright.