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1992: 50 Works for 50 Years

Ada B. Caldwell

Estes Park

Ada Caldwell (1869-1938) is a seminal South Dakota teacher, artist and arts advocate. As South Dakota State University Professor of Art from 1899-1936, Caldwell built art appreciation on campus and in the community. Perhaps best known as the first art instructor of Harvey Dunn, Caldwell’s impact on the arts in South Dakota is far-reaching and under-examined. Throughout almost her entire tenure, Caldwell brought annual traveling exhibits of artwork for display in the SDSU Art Department. These exhibits were open to the public and offered the Brookings community an early opportunity for art appreciation.

An April 1940 retrospective exhibit of Caldwell’s artwork prompted the first formal record of a need for a state art museum.

Caldwell likely completed Estes Park during the summer she studied under Birger Sandzén at the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It displays the broad, loose, Post-Impressionist style Caldwell embraced as a result of those studies. Learn more about Ada Caldwell here: Ada Caldwell Collection and Biography.

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