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West Texas's first professional woman artist dies

September
25
1874

On this day in 1874, Louise Heuser Wueste, the first professional woman artist in western Texas, died in Eagle Pass. Wueste, born in Germany in 1805, studied portraiture at the Düsseldorf Academy before marrying in 1824 and had three children before her husband's death. Thereafter, she resumed her art career as a teacher of portraiture. In 1859 she followed her son and two daughters to Texas and opened a studio in San Antonio in 1860. During the Civil War she moved to Piedras Negras, Mexico, to live with her son. She received few commissions for work during her first years in North America. After 1865, however, she found many opportunities for painting and teaching. Louise Wueste periodically left San Antonio after the mid-1860s to live elsewhere in Texas with her children, including her son, Daniel, an Eagle Pass merchant. Her later work reflected an interest in the people and landscapes along the Rio Grande. Her work, possibly numbering in the hundreds, has never been cataloged. Most of it is held by descendants and private collectors. The largest public collection of her output is owned by the Witte Museum in San Antonio.

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