STELLA LODGE LA MOND
Stella La Mond, artist and teacher, was born on September 30, 1893, in Morganfield, Kentucky, the daughter of John James and Bettie (Taylor) La Mond. She attended Thomas School in Detroit, Michigan, before beginning her career as an art teacher in Fremont, Nebraska, where she taught art in public schools from 1918 to 1924. She entered Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1924 and graduated with a B.S. in 1926. She subsequently became the head of the art department at East Texas State Teachers College (later East Texas State University) in Commerce, Texas, a position she held for ten years. La Mond supplemented teaching with learning throughout her life: she earned a master's degree from Columbia University in 1930 and attended the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (1944), and the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico (1954). With the help of a Carnegie grant she studied lithography with Coreen M. Spellman in the winter of 1947–48. Her teachers included Alexandre Hogue, George Sheldon Dutch, Arthur Young, and Sallie B. Tannahill.
In 1936 La Mond became chairman of the art department at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, a position she held until she retired with the rank of professor emeritus in 1959. As an artist, she experimented with a number of different techniques and media and developed an expertise in weaving, lithography, and silk screening. In 1940 she helped to found the Printmakers Guild (later the Texas Printmakers), a group originally limited to women, formed with the goals of educating the public about prints and giving women printmakers an opportunity to show and sell their work. The guild successfully operated up to five print circuits for twenty-five years before it was disbanded, at La Mond's suggestion, in 1965. La Mond served as president of the group in 1961 and 1962. She also participated in the Nebraska Teachers Association and served as president of its art section in 1922–23, the Texas State Teachers Association (she was president of its art section from 1936 to 1938), the American Association of University Professors, the College Art Association, the Ceramic Society of the Southwest, Dallas Fashion Arts, the Dallas Print Society, the Dallas Art Association, the Dallas Art League, Tabby and Twill Weavers, and the Craft Guild of Dallas.
She exhibited her work annually in the Texas General exhibition and participated in annual exhibitions sponsored by the Southern States Art League and the Texas Fine Arts Association, winning prizes from the latter organization in 1948 and 1949. She won prizes for work exhibited at the International Textile Exhibition (1945), the Dallas Print Annual (1945, 1947), and the State Fair of Texas (1950, 1951, 1954, 1957). She also exhibited her work with the Society of American Etchers in New York City (1947–48), the Central States Graphic Arts Annual in Omaha, Nebraska (1948), and the Library of Congress (1948). Solo exhibitions of her work were organized by Southern Methodist University (1937) and the Dallas Museum of Art (1941); a solo exhibition of her work traveled to three towns in Kentucky in 1942.
Stella La Mond generally worked in a realistic style, choosing as her subjects "flowers, animals, [and] landscapes which give me pleasure by their form and color." She considered her residence, built in 1937, to be one of her principal works. The house, designed by architects O'Neil Ford and Arch B. Swank, featured her textiles, ceramics, and paintings, as well as family antiques and furniture handcrafted for her by her father. La Mond also designed and planted the gardens surrounding her home. She died on November 23, 1968. Examples of her work are included in the University Art Collection, Southern Methodist University; the Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock; and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, Indiana. Her contributions as a founding member of the Printmakers Guild were recognized in a group exhibition, The Texas Printmakers 1940–1965, organized by the Meadows Museum in 1990.