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Carstenson, Blanche Emily Williams (1907-October 2, 2002)



  • Existence: 1907 - October 2, 2002


Blanche Emily Williams Carstenson was an artist and longtime resident of Kansas City, Missouri. She was born in Gray County, Kansas, in 1907. She married Cecil C. Carstenson in 1927. Blanche lived in the Valentine Neighborhood area from 1948-2001.

Blanche's first love was music. Her artistic creativity developed in tandem with Cecil’s pursuits in sculpture. She worked with paint, printmaking, collage, assemblage and especially fiber. She was best known for her wall hangings, which she exhibited throughout the Midwest, including UMKC, B'nai Jehudah, Unitarian Gallery and Kansas City Artist's Coalition. She helped found the Mid-America Annual Exhibition at the Nelson Art Museum and served as Director for eight years. She founded the Unitarian Gallery in the early 1960s, and was a guiding force in the Kansas City Artist's Coalition. She taught printmaking, batik, and gave art lectures. She managed the career of her husband, Cecil, a noted sculptor. Blanche remained active throughout her life in the Unitarian Gallery, Kansas Artist's Coalition, Kansas City Musical Arts, University Women's Club, Roanoke Association, Demeters, and All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church.

Blanche Carstenson passed away October 2, 2002 in Denver, Colorado.

*Excerpts taken from the Kansas City Star, Metropolitan Edition, January 6, 1991

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Blanche & Cecil Carstenson Collection

Identifier: MS-0171
Scope and Contents The Blanche and Cecil Carstenson Collection is a small, yet significant array of ephemera highlighting this artistic couple’s accomplishments. Dates range from the 1941 up to 1998. Included are items relating to art exhibits; special events and other such programs. The “Gnome Gnotebook” contains exhibit dates from 1941-1964, with detailed information. There are multiple photographs of two of Cecil Carstenson’s wood sculptures, but they are not identified. The real jewel of the...
Dates: Majority of material found within 1941 - 1998