1951: Marion Gunderson’s Watercolors and Rolfe, Iowa, School Yearbook


This post includes the 1951 Rolfe, Iowa, school yearbook. It also includes images of four watercolors painted in 1951 by Mother (Marion Gunderson). Lastly, it includes a 1952 photo of my five siblings. Hanging on the wall in the photo’s background is one of Mother’s 1951 watercolors.

If you don’t care about the watercolors or family photo and just want to see the yearbook, scroll down quite far and you’ll see the yearbook images. Clara is on the third-grade page. On the last five pages of the yearbook, notice the names of the sponsoring businesses. Out of those 52 businesses, I believe only one or two still exist under the same name. Also, I didn’t know that the  McIntire Funeral Home was also an ambulance service!

If you do care about the watercolors, information about availability of prints is available at the end of this post.*

Click here for one or more 1940s Rolfe school yearbook(s).

Click here for one or more 1960s Rolfe school yearbook(s).

To enlarge any image, click on it once (or twice to enlarge it even more).

UPDATE: I just realized that the yearbook images cannot be enlarged as much as in previous postings. (By clicking on the yearbook images, they can be enlarged to several inches wide by several inches high. But they can’t be enlarged as much as previously possible.)  I’m checking to see if I’ve set something wrong or if there are limitations.

UPDATE #2: I just found out that there’s nothing I can do about my concern expressed in the Update immediately above. If you want to see any of the images larger on your monitor, let me know and maybe I could email a few to  you or add them one-at-a-time to another post or some other work-around. mariongundersonart@gmail.com

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What does this photo have to do with the year 1951? The main thing is that hanging on the wall is the "Railway Station and Grain Elevator" watercolor (shown immediately below) of Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951 by Mother (Marion Gunderson). I assume the photo was actually taken in 1952, since the baby in the photo is my sister Peggy; she was born in late 1951, the same year Mother painted the Gilmore City watercolor. L to R: My siblings Clara, Charles, Helen, Peggy and Marti. I was not yet born. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, watercolor painted in 1951 by Marion A. Gunderson. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


"Depot" Rolfe, Iowa, watercolor painted in 1951 by Marion A. Gunderson. (Click photo to enlarge.)


"Baby's Shoes" watercolor painted in 1951 by Marion A. Gunderson. (Prints are not available but possibly could be if there is interest.)


"ISU Heating Plant" Ames, Iowa, watercolor painted in 1951 by Marion A. Gunderson. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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1951 Rolfe, Iowa, School Yearbook

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*A partial inventory of prints of 30 of Mother’s watercolors is available at the Rolfe Public Library and Wild Faces Gallery, both in Rolfe, Iowa. Prints may also be purchased online as well as directly from me (Louise). mariongundersonart@gmail.com

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


2 Responses to “1951: Marion Gunderson’s Watercolors and Rolfe, Iowa, School Yearbook”

  1. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Mother had two sets of glass bookends like those on the end table in the first photo. I now have one of those sets in my home. Peggy has the two end tables (and one of my sisters — Peggy? Clara?— has the other set of bookends). It is fun for me to have recently noticed these items in this photo and to know that they are at least 60 years old.

  2. Peg Moore Says:

    I have the other set of bookends! Heart! I have them in a great spot where I see them often. ❤

    Also, I can't even express how much I love this post. Your highlighting the year 1951; thinking of Mother painting those pictures when she was carrying me (or had just had me); seeing with new eyes the painting of the shoes (which could maybe be mine, Martha's, or someone else's); seeing the photo of me so little and yet so me . . . and surrounded by my older four siblings; and even remembering that Mother's mother, whom she very much loved, died unexpectedly that 1951 July. (Mother was 31, and her mother, I believe, was 60.) Oh my . . . , what must have been going on in Mother's heart and mind during those painting sessions? It reminds me of one of her favorite scripture verses: "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). (All six of us kids have heard her say this verse–and seen her write it–so many times. <3) I love thinking of her having such a wonderful outlet in her painting, and even in her getting to sit still for awhile out in the beautiful weather, and probably enjoying the company of other art and beauty lovers. And Daddy's always being happy for her to have this time.

    Wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL post, Louise! (But then I'm sure I'm partial. ;-))

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