Mary Nohl: Inside & Outside by Barbara MangerMary Nohl: Inside & Outside by Barbara Manger

Mary Nohl: Inside & Outside

byBarbara MangerDesigned byJanine Smith

Paperback | March 22, 2009

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Outsider artist, sophisticated naïf, and witch are all labels that have described Mary Nohl (1914–2001), creator of a magical and mysterious site on the shore of Lake Michigan near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here she constructed huge concrete heads, stone-encrusted creatures, and imposing driftwood figures to fill the yard surrounding a modest cottage where she spent most of her life. Carved heads hang from the eaves, wind chimes tinkle in the trees, and pebbles at her doorstep spell “Boo.” The cottage is painted and embellished inside and out with wooden fish, boats, animals, and leaping figures. Wire, hemp, chicken bones, egg shells, aluminum pans, broken glass—almost any castoff materials available—were used by Nohl to create her art and ornament her surroundings.
    Mary Nohl: Inside & Outside offers the first comprehensive look into the unusual life of a remarkable artist whose surroundings stand as a monument to her creative personality. Establishing Nohl as a notable “outsider” artist, Barbara Manger and Janine Smith offer an inside look at an artist whose idiosyncratic art—pieces whose allure is only heightened by the intrigue and legends surrounding their creator—attracted generations of visitors who peered through the fence at Nohl’s wildly decorated yard but rarely caught a glimpse of the elusive artist.

“This sensitive, meticulously researched book sheds needed light on the life and work of an underappreciated visionary. It should advance the cause of preserving Mary Nohl’s fragile work in all of its fevered complexity.”—Whitney Gould, former architecture critic and urban landscape writer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Winner, Kingery/Derleth Book-Length Nonfiction Award, Council for Wisconsin Writers 
Winner, Cover Design: 3 or more colors, Midwest Book Awards
Barbara Manger has taught collegiate-level printmaking and drawing for many years and remains a practicing artist. She is also the founder of Artists Working in Education (AWE), a non-profit Milwaukee-based organization providing art experience for at-risk children. Janine Smith is an award-winning book designer who owns and operates D...
Title:Mary Nohl: Inside & OutsideFormat:PaperbackDimensions:134 pages, 10 × 10 × 0.8 inPublished:March 22, 2009Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0615251188

ISBN - 13:9780615251189


Table of Contents

1. Childhood                                  
2. College Years                             
3. Wanderlust                                  
4. Teaching                                       
5. A Most Unusual Pottery         
6. The Creative Years                   
7. The Witch’s House                   
8. Leaving the Lakeshore              
9. Legacy                                            

Editorial Reviews

“A bold and beautiful act to reclaim Mary Nohl’s life and home from the endangered list. Manger captures the rich complexity of the aesthetic of a compulsive creator, an artist who eschewed labels and denied influence, a woman whose life story is one of innovative transgression. A cultural history of Wisconsin would be incomplete without this beautifully wrought story.”—Barbara Lawton, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin