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Helmi Dagmar Juvonen


Mark Tobey's Mask

21.5 x 17.75 in. (54.61 x 45.085 cm)
Museum Purchase with the Dorothy Wanlass Endowment Fund

In the 1930s, Juvonen developed an obsession with artist Mark Tobey, whom she met while studying at Cornish. Her obsession with Tobey included stalking, writing letters, and making artwork about her fantasized marriage with Tobey and their children. After several years of this obsession, Tobey threatened legal action if she did not desist. In 1930, Juvonen was diagnosed with manic depression and was committed to a state hospital in Washington for three years. From 1930–1959, Juvonen was in-and-out of psychiatric institutions before she was permanently confined to the Oakhurst Infirmary. Juvonen continued her artmaking while at Oakhurst and experimented with themes of creation, spirituality, and resurrection. Though she was confined, Juvonen’s friends collected and preserved her artwork.

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