Stella Emma Harlos (1901 - 1978)

Birth date: 1901 Death date: 1978  
Birth location: MIlwaukee, Wisconsin Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: Decorative Art , Interior Design , Painting Web site:
Fair (file rating) - MWA artist file may include basic data, and additional newspaper articles, book references, exhibition information, and images that can be researched on site at MWA.

Biographical Brief

Layton art school faculty , 1951, head of dress and interior design.


Stella Harlos

Born 1901 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Died 1978

Stella Harlos was both an artist and a teacher in Wisconsin, well known for her work in painting, ceramics, weaving, and printmaking. Her art is described as being whimsical and vivid, painted realistically but with impressionistic influences. She joined other Wisconsin artists to create Wisconsin’s own special regional style. Her work captured her love of small towns, open farm lands, woods and shorelines, and through it she expressed the values and virtues of grassroots America.  She also spent time in Mexico, which was yet another backdrop for her paintings.

Born in Milwaukee,Wisconsin, Harlos studied under some prominent Wisconsin artists: Gustave Moeller at the Milwaukee State Teachers College, Gerrit V. Sinclair at the Layton School of Art, and Kenneth Weber in Hollywood, California. In addition to being an artist, she also taught at the Layton School of Art (1926-1936, starting their ceramics program); Francis Parker School of Arts and Crafts (1923-1924), and Milwaukee Downer College (1930). Harlos was also a member of the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors and the Works Projects Administration, helping to organize the first art rental gallery in the country. She painted a WPA post office mural, Land of Wood and Lakes, in Hayward, Wisconsin, and won many awards for her artistic excellence. Her work is in numerous collections, including the City of Milwaukee and the West Bend Art Museum’s Permanent Art Collections.

Selected Exhibitions

1924   Milwaukee Art Institute- WP&S show, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (also 1930, 1931, 1932)

1925   The Milwaukee Journal- Gallery of Wisconsin Art, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (also 1930)

1925      Layton Art Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (also 1928, 1931)

1925      Art Institute of Chicago- Annual Exhibition, Chicago, Illinois (also 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932)

1931   Art Institute of Chicago- International Watercolor show, Chicago, Illinois

1935   Milwaukee Art Institute- Wisconsin Society of Applied Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1963      Milwaukee Art Center- “Wisconsin Artists 1855 until today,” Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1982   The Milwaukee Journal- Gallery of Wisconsin Art from 1924-1931, Milwaukee, Wisconsin    

© 10/22/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                            April 12, 2010
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