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feminine forerunners

of Cedarburg

June 7 - August 27, 2017

Josephine Wupper Ainsworth, Violette Jahnke, Lillian Rammel, and Dorothy Zaun were artists born between 1910 and 1922.  Their artistic paths marked the way for the next generation of women artists in the Cedarburg area. The Cedarburg Art Museum’s latest exhibition has been two years in the making with more than a dozen community members lending works to the exhibition. Drawings, paintings or pastels are the favored medium of Ainsworth, Janke and Zaun. Rammel’s works are sculptural, in clay or metal.


Interior subjects are common subjects for Ainsworth, Jahnke, and Zaun , as domestic life offered a ready subject. Josephine Ainsworth, an art instructor in Cedarburg Schools from 1956-1969, often painted astute portraits, tabletop compositions, or other interior scenes. Violettte Jahnke took her interior scenes to a level of abstraction, utilizing unpainted areas in her watercolors to bring in strong negative space to subjects of interiors or compositions of chairs. Dorothy Zaun painted some interior subjects, but also city scenes in Milwaukee or Cedarburg from the 1940s through 1980s and today they provide a historical record of earlier times. After an earlier career in fashion design, Lillian Rammel switched to clay and metal sculpture in the 1970s. Ceramic and mixed media masks remind us of faraway cultures and welded metal and found object sculptural pieces illustrate Rammel’s unique contributions in the 1970s through early 1990s. 

Violette Jahnke
Lillian Rammel
Dorothy Zaun
Josephine Wupper Ainsworth
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