Mary Nohl

Photo Credit: Mary Nohl at her Lake Cottage (Fox Point, WI), 1997. Photo used with permission courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

BORN:   1914, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

DIED   2001, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mary L. Nohl was born in Milwaukee, the daughter of a lawyer and his wife. When Mary was 10, the family built a summer cottage on the Lake Michigan shore in Fox Point. In 1945, the home was enlarged and in 1948, when snowplows were newly available, the family moved full time to the Beach Drive location. In 1938, Mary graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago and taught art at Milwaukee junior and senior high schools. She was a painter, silversmith, sculptor and owned a production pottery studio that she ran for 10 years.

Mary is a notable Milwaukee mystery. Known for her decorated home packed full inside and out with her own brand of "quirky" art that overflowed into a yard filled with concrete sculptures, stained glass, mobiles, wooden reliefs of all kinds of unimaginable creatures. Mary Nohl explored all means of materials, form and design. 

In 1968, Mary’s mother died, leaving her a substantial inheritance. This enabled Mary to focus on her art full time.

With her home

Mary Nohl