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Local Artists

Three Internationally famous artists come from our area. Adolf Dehn, David Maass and Roger Preuss.  

Adolf Dehn

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Born in Waterville, Minnesota, Dehn was the descendent of farmers who had emigrated from Germany. His family lived in rural poverty. His father, a hunter and trapper, was also an atheist and anarchist. His mother was a socialist and feminist, so Dehn was exposed to a wide range of radical thinking while growing up.[3] His mother encouraged Dehn’s artistic talent which was apparent at an early age. After graduating as valedictorian from Waterville High School, he went to the Minneapolis School of Art where he met a woman, Wanda Gág, who was to be Dehn’s close companion for the next five years. Both received scholarships to attend the Art Students League in New York. After graduation, Dehn was drafted to serve in World War I, but was imprisoned in Spartanburg, South Carolina after declaring himself a conscientious objector. Upon his release, he worked for several months as a volunteer painting teacher at an army rehabilitation hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. Dehn then returned to the Art Students League for another year of study and created his first lithograph, The Harvest.

Among his many honors, Dehn was elected as a full academician to the National Academy of Design and as a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. His works are held in over 100 museums including the National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art.[

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David Maass

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David Maass is a wildlife artist who paints a world seen throughout the hunter's eyes - a world cold and wet, warm and wonderful. David Maass' career as a wildlife artist spans five decades and the accolades he has received from his peers and the appreciating public are a result of diligent study and dedication to his work. His inspiring images of waterfowl and upland game birds are considered some of the finest art available for sale in the wildlife and nature genre

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Roger Preuss

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Photo Credit:  Jeff Jarvis

On January 29, 1922, Edna Rosenau Preuss' talented son was born in Waterville, Minnesota, gateway to the southern Minnesota lakes region. The area surrounding his birthplace teemed with wildlife of all species and with the encouragement of his father, Emil W. Preuss, young Roger soon developed an intense interest in the outdoors; an interest which was to pave the way to a successful career in wildlife art. When he was only nine years old, he entered a color crayon drawing of a pair of bluebirds in a school art exhibit and captured the first of the many blue ribbons he has won.

Mr. Preuss is an alumnus of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, a veteran of the Naval Reserve, and a former northwoods guide. He has won 21 international and national art honors and his paintings have been exhibited in many of the leading galleries and museums including the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Joslyn Art Museum; and the Montana State Historical Museum. 

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