Gisella Loeffler, American


Born in Austria, Gisella Loeffler was noted as a Taos, New Mexico artist of decorative child folklore figures and illustration talents.  Her cheerful Austrian and Mexican motifs were popular among her peers including Mabel Dodge Luhan.

Loeffler signed her work simply “Gisella.”

From the Austrian Alps, she came with her family to the U. S. in 1908 and settled in St. Louis, Missouri where she, age five, was very disappointed in the drab appearance of her surroundings compared to where she had come from.  Instead of flowers in her front yard, she found paved bricks.

She studied art at Washington University, created posters for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and began working in batik on textiles.  In the early 1920s, she married writer and music critic Edgar Lacher.

An exhibition of Taos painter, Ernest Blumenschein, also from St. Louis, aroused her interest, and in 1933 she, divorced and moved with her two daughters to Taos where she lived the remainder of her life and found the happiness that had eluded her with her first husband.   She married Frank Chase, a New Englander, and traveled extensively in Mexico and South America, and did paintings and illustrations of Navajo and Pueblo children in children’s stories, and also did numerous murals for childrens’ hospitals across the United States.