Mildred Nungester Wolfe | 1912-2009

Noted Portraitist, in the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery 

Mildred Nungester Wolfe was born in Celina, Ohio in 1912. She grew up in Decatur, Alabama, and graduated from Alabama’s Montevallo College for Women. She studied at the Art Students League in New York and at the Art Institute of Chicago and received an MFA degree from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. In 1944, Mildred married Mississippi artist Karl Wolfe, whom she first met at the Dixie Art Colony.

Working through five decades, Mildred Wolfe experimented with and mastered a variety of media: oil, watercolor, pastel, ceramics, printmaking, mosaic, and stained glass. Since Mildred was a portraitist of note, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C purchased her portrait of Eudora Welty.

After Karl’s death in 1984, She shared a studio and gallery with her artist daughter, Elizabeth (Bebe) Wolfe, and was still actively painting several mornings a week until the age of 92, when ill health and frailty finally stopped her from painting. She died peacefully in her beloved home at the age of 96, in 2009. Her artwork can be found in many museums and private collections.

Sources: DAC Foundation Archives, Wikipedia, Mississippi Museum of Art,

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