Ada Shulz

Artist: Ada Walter Shulz
Birth: October 21, 1870
Birth City: Terre Haute, Indiana
Death:  1928
Burial: Spring Grove Cemetery in Delavan Wisconsin
Marriage: September 5th, 1894 to Adolph Shulz in Delavan Wisconsin
Adolph Shulz in 1926
Children: Walter Shulz Born June 10th, 1895 Died: December 12, 1918

Artist Summary

Subject Matter:  Known for depictions of Children Nd Landscapes
Art Associations:  Charter member Brown County Art Association, Indiana Artist Club, Hoosier Salon, Brown County Art Gallery, Society of Western Artists, Chicago Society of Artists, Artist Guild of Chicago, Chicago Galleries Association
Art Education: Art Institute of Chicago, Academie Witti Paris

Biography of ADA Walter Shulz

Formative Years of Ada Walter Shulz (1870 to 1889)

Ada was born in Terre Haute on October 21,1870 and was raised by her mother and grandmother after her father passed away of diphtheria. Eventually, Ada’s family moved to Indianapolis in 1884 when she was thirteen in hopes of providing Ada with better art instruction. She attended Indianapolis High School now known as Shortridge High School. While attending school, Ada began to draw on a regular basis under the instruction of her teacher Miss Roda E. Selleck. She loved to draw with her friends and classmate including the son of T. C. Steele. Ada would sometimes go on family outings with the famous Hoosier artist and spent time in the Steeles home. In 1889 Ada’s mother moved the family to Chicago. At the age of 19, Ada Shulz enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied for almost four years under John Vanderpoel, Grover, and Freer. Early in 1892, Ada’s mother passed away leaving Ada broken hearted. To help with the pain of losing her mother Ada went on a  sketching trip to Delavan Wisconsin led by her art instructor John Vanderpoel (1857 to 1911). It was on this trip she met Adolph Shulz (1869 to 1963) for the first time and over the next two years, Adolph and Ada’s relationship continued to flourish.

Ada Shulz Study in Europe and Marriage

Ada and Adolph married on September 5th, 1894 in Delavan Wisconsin. It was not long after they were married the Shulz’s  left for Paris France where Ada enrolled at the Academie Vitti and studied under Luc Oliver Merson and Raphael Collin.  Both Adolph and Ada studied in Paris for a year but moved on to Munich Germany where their son Walter was born on June 10th, 1895. In the fall of 1895, the Shulz's returned to Delavan to live. Once the couple returned to Delevan Ada spent most of her time taking care of Walter, participating in clubs and running the household while Adolf painted.  It was not until 1906 when Walter was 10 that Ada began to paint on a regular basis. She exhibited several paintings at the Chicago Exhibition in 1907 and sold two paintings in 1908. By 1913 Walter their son was a student at the Chicago Art Institute following in his parent’s footsteps. As a family, they exhibited paintings at the Milwaukee Art Society gallery with much praise from art critics.

Ada Shulz's  Life In Brown County Indiana

Between 1908 and 1917 the family spent summers in Brown County Indiana around Nashville because Walter was still attending school in the wintertime. After about ten years the Shulz’s purchased property owned by Gustave Baumann and the family moved to Nashville Indiana to construct their new home. The named there property Lizards Rest. Ada became well known for her painting of the people of Brown County, especially children. The Chicago Evening News considered her painting titled “Motherhood” to be one of the best painting at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1916. She won the Purchase Prize during the 1917 Chicago exhibition for her work titled “Mother and Child”

Unfortunately, on December 12, 1918 their son Walter died of diphtheria which is said they blamed each other and that led to their divorce. In 1924 Adolph left Ada and moved in with Alberta Rehm-Miller and her daughter Emilie in a cabin near the town of Nashville.
Ada began to paint more landscapes in 1924 after Adolph left and produced more landscape then any other time in her life. It was during this time she fell ill and because she was a Christian Scientist she refused medical treatment. Although unknown it is believed she died of cancer at her home in Brown County in 1928

Exhibitions  and Awards: 

Wisconsin Painter and Sculptors Annual Exhibition third Honorable Mention for painting titles “Mother from the Hills” (1)
Chicago Exhibition 1907
Chicago Exhibition 1916
Chicago Exhibition 1917

(1)Unknown.  “News Items”, The American Magazine of Art, July 1918, p. 388:
 M. Joanne Nesbit and Barbara Judd - Those Brown County Artists - "The Ones Who Came, the Ones Who Stayed, The Ones Who Moved On 1900 - 1950" - Nanna's Books 1993
Lyn Letsinger-Miller - The Artists of Brown County - Indiana University Press Bloomington and Indianapolis 1994
Judith Newton and Carol Ann Weiss,  “Skirting the Issue”, Stories of Indiana’s Historical Women Artists, Indiana Historical Press 2004.



© Michael A. Burns and Michael Burns Art 2017.

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