Database : Artists

Presented here is a database of influencial women who are affiliated in some way with Idaho. By default, the entries are presented chronologically by the order in which they were submitted. Would you like to submit a new woman to the database? Please navigate to the submit page.

Want to make a correction or addition? Click here


all politicians doctors pioneers artists educators philanthropists

Carol Ryrie Brink (Caroline Sybil Ryrie)
12/28/1895 - 08/15/1981
Moscow, ID - La Jolla, CA

A Newberry Medal winning author, Carol Ryrie Brink was born in Moscow, Idaho and attended the University of Idaho from 1914-1917. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley, Brink moved to St. Paul to join her new husband. Her first novel, Anything Can Happen, was published in 1934. Her novel Caddie Woodlawn received the Newberry Medal in 1936 and a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958.

Resources: Carol Ryrie Brink Biography - IMDB
Keywords: authors
Contributed by: Annie Gaines

Dorice Taylor
06/11/1901 - 12/23/1987
Dubois, PA - Sun Valley, ID

Some say the Union Pacific Railroad made Sun Valley an international destination, but a lot of old timers there say it was really their employee, Dorice, whose vision, energy and promotional work made everything happen. Dorice was a 1971 recipient of the ski writers' "Golden Quill" award. Additionally she published Sun Valley in her 80s and was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1984.

Resources: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Keywords: promoter, author
Contributed by: Mike Bullard

Lee Morse (Lena Corinne Taylor)
11/30/1897 - 12/16/1954
Portland, OR - Rochester, NY

A jazz and blues singer and songwriter popular in the 1920s and early 1930s, Lee spent her early years in Kooskia, Idaho before becoming a successful vaudeville singer on the west coast. In addition to being a popular vocalist at the time, Lee was also an actress in a number of musical film shorts in the 1930s and starred in a broadway play.

Resources: Lee Morse Collection - UI International Jazz Collections
Lee Morse - IMDB
Keywords: musician, artist
Contributed by: Annie Gaines

Nellie Stockbridge
1868 - 05/22/1965
Illinois - ?

In 1898 Nellie Stockbridge left her home in Illinois to work with Thomas Barnard at his Wallace, Idaho photo studio. In 1907 she purchased a quarter share of the business and eventually assumed full ownership. Nellie photographed the people and places of the Coeur d'Alene mining district, creating a visual record of historical significance to Idaho and beyond.

Resources: Mining Town: the photographic record of T.N. Barnard and Nellie Stockbridge from the Coeur d'Alenes, Patricia Hart & Ivar Nelson.
Barnard Stockbridge Photograph Collection
Keywords: artist
Contributed by: Annie Gaines

Marilynne Robinson
11/26/1943 -
Sandpoint, ID -

Marilynne Summers Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and essayist born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho. Her novel Gilead won the 2005 Pulitzer. Robinson graduated magna cum laude from Pembroke College in 1966 with a B.A. and completed her Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington in 1977.

Resources: History & Literature of the Pacific Northwest: Marilynne Robinson, 1943. Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington.
Keywords: author, artist
Contributed by: Beth Canzoneri

Benedicte Wrensted
02/10/1859 - 01/19/1949
Hjorring, Denmark - Los Angeles, CA

Benedicte Marie Wrensted was a Danish-American photographer who emigrated to Pocatello, Idaho and began a photography studio. Wrensted's photographs of local Native American tribes, including the Shoshone and Bannock Native Americans, are considered to be of great anthropological importance. Many of her photographs are preserved at the Smithsonian Institute and the National Archives.

Resources: Benedicte Wrensted: An Idaho Photographer in Focus
Keywords: photographer, artist
Contributed by: Ruth Funabiki

Mary Kirkwood
1905 - 06/17/1995
Oregon - Moscow, ID

Born in Oregon and raised in Montana, Mary Kirkwood displayed a natural talent for the arts and went on to study art at the University of Montana, the University of Oregon, and the Royal Art School in Sweden. Mary began her 40 year teaching career at the University of Idaho in 1930.

Resources: "Moscow artist's legacy lives on in work, students." Moscow-Pullman Daily News: June 29, 1995. | Guide to the Mary Kirkwood Christmas Card Collection
Keywords: artist
Contributed by: Annie Gaines

Betty Penson-Ward (Butler)
05/15/1914 - 09/05/2002
Boise, ID - ?

Betty Penson-Ward literally wrote the book on women in Idaho, (Idaho Women in History, 1991). Betty worked for the Idaho Statesman for 37 years and often supported the women's movement with her featured column. She was also the first woman president of the Idaho Press Club, the first woman inducted into the Boise High School's Hall of Fame, and received many accolades for her writing including being honoured in 1971 by the National Federation of Press Women.

Resources: LocalWiki - Boise - Betty Penson | Idahos Hall of Fame | Betty Penson Papers - Boise State University Special Collections and Archives
Keywords: author
Contributed by: Mary Ann Reese

Julia Jean "Lana" Turner
02/08/1921 - 09/29/1995
Wallace, ID - Los Angeles, CA

Born to young parents during hard times in Wallace, Idaho, Julia Turner was discovered by a talent agent in a Los Angeles drug store at the age of 16. She was immediately cast in her first film, They Won't Forget (1937). During World War II Turner became a popular pin-up girl and even had a B-17 Flying Fortress named after her. Lana starred opposite Clark Gable in four films, and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in the 1957 film Peyton Place.

Resources: Lana Turner - Wikipedia | Lana: The Lady, the Legend, the Truth, by Lana Turner, 1982.
Keywords: actress, artist
Contributed by: Shonda Reynolds

Marjorie Reynolds (Goodspeed)
08/12/1917 - 02/01/1997
Buhl, ID - Manhattan Beach, CA

An actress with humble beginnings in Buhl, Idaho, Marjorie Goodspeed appeared in more than 50 films in her lifetime and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her acting career began as a child in silent films, but Marjorie is perhaps best known for her role in Holiday Inn (1942) singing "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby. She also starred with Abbott and Costello in The Time of Their Lives (1946) and in three episodes of Leave it to Beaver (1960-1963).

Resources: Marjorie Reynolds - Wikipedia | Marjorie Reynolds - IMDB
Keywords: actress, artist
Contributed by: Shonda Reynolds

Margaret Cobb Ailshie
03/27/1883 - 08/26/1959
Chicago, IL - Boise, ID

Margaret Ailshie was the first female publisher for the Idaho Statesman from 1928-1959, following in the footsteps of her father, who purchased the Statesman in the late 1880s. Under her leadership, the newspaper began publishing an evening paper and expanded its circulation significantly. In addition to her time at the Statesman, Margaret travelled abroad to serve as a member of the Red Cross during World War I and supported many Boise projects including the Julia Davis Park pioneer village and the cosntruction of Bronco Stadium.

Resources: Margaret Cobb Ailshie - Wikipedia
Keywords: philanthropist, publisher
Contributed by: Shonda Reynolds

Christine Holbert
11/9/1952 -
New York City, NY -

A resident of rural north Idaho, Christine Holbert is the founding director of Lost Horse Press, an independent press that publishes poetry and contemporary literature. Christine earned her publishing degree from Eastern Washington University in 1998 and founded the Press in the same year. In addition to running the Press, Holbert is dedicated to contributing to the community.

Resources: History of the Press - Lost Horse Press
Keywords: author
Contributed by: Christine Holbert