Exhibit: Many Backgrounds, One Goal

Stefanie Kiihn

Clara Eva Hardenbrook
Stefanie Kiihn

Artist's Statement

Clara Eva Hardenbrook attempted to vote in 1914, years before women were granted the right to vote. She contributed to changing public opinion and left a legacy of valuing the right to vote and taking a stand.
To the left of her portrait, a map of downtown St. Paul commemorates the lawsuit that followed Clara’s act of defiance. Medallions feature:

  • Clara’s lawyer Gustavus Loevinger at the Germania Life Insurance building where he officed
  • Lawsuit organizer and suffragist Emily Dobbin at the Mechanic Arts High School where she taught math
  • The old Ramsey County Courthouse with the businessmen who filed an intervening suit

To the right of her portrait, a map of St. Paul’s east side shows where Clara lived and describes her personal story. Medallions feature:

  • Clara and her first husband, Harry Hardenbrook, in front of their home at 1016 Cook Street
  • Clara and her daughters in front of 886 Phalen Ave, where she lived after Harry’s death

Website: www.kiihn.com.

Stefanie Kiihn's Video

Artist's Bio

Stefanie Kiihn is a Minnesota-based artist who works in pen and ink. The principal theme in Stefanie’s art is the history of a place. Her favorite location is Saint Paul. Her work investigates neighborhoods to match historic maps to current streets and buildings. She researches the people and architecture of the past to locate the ghost-like footprints that are left. What did the city look like before freeways and railroads? Where are the lost neighborhoods and lost ways of life? What architectural treasures have been lost? What forces preserved the historic buildings that still survive? Who shaped the city we know today?

Stefanie grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota. She exhibits locally and regionally, including the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Competition, White Bear Center for the Arts, and Natural Heritage Project. She currently lives in Roseville with her husband and hound-mix named Darla.