In Memory: Dahlov Ipcar

02.18.17 It is with great sadness that we report the passing of American painter, illustrator, author, Maine resident, and chess player Dahlov Ipcar. Ipcar competed in the National Chess Day 2011 tournament at Bowdoin College at the age of ninety-three. She met her husband, Adolph, when he came to Maine in the summer of 1932. From that first encounter, she remembered this: We spent the summer together, fishing, riding horses -- Adolph rode our big black workhorse -- and exploring the woods and shore. We also played chess on rainy days, though I was a very poor player and he was a good one.

Dahlov Ipcar 11.12.1917--02.10.2017
image courtesy Bangor Daily News

Dahlov Ipcar was born on November 12, 1917, in Windsor, Vermont and died on February 10, 2017. She was ninety-nine years old.

An American painter, illustrator, and author, Ipcar was best known for her colorful, kaleidoscopic-styled paintings featuring animals - primarily in either farm or wild settings.

Dahlov Ipcar was raised in Greenwich Village, New York City, attended City and Country School, Caroline Pratt's progressive school, and grew up surrounded by bohemian influences. She was encouraged by her parents, she started painting at a very young age.

Ipcar briefly attended Oberlin, dropping out after only one semester, frustrated with the academic restrictions on her artistic expression.

In addition to her to easel paintings, illustrations, and soft sculptures, Ipcar has also completed ten large-scale mural projects for public buildings, two of them for U.S. Post Offices in La Follette, Tennessee, and Yukon, Oklahoma.

She received honorary degrees from the University of Maine, Colby College, and Bates College.
In April 1998, The University of Minnesota honored Ipcar with The Kerlan Award for Children's literature.

Dahlov Ipcar passed away at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Maine.

In her own words: All my life I have enjoyed playing this game. To me each painting I start is a challenge and a mystery to be solved. Some artists say they want to simplify their work as much as possible: they want "to avoid problems." I feel that problems are what make it all interesting. Sometimes it is an exhausting struggle, but it is always exciting. As I work on a painting it is like a continually changing kaleidoscope of composition, color, meanings. If, in the end, I succeed in realizing my original vision, even in some small measure, that is the supreme reward.

This image is from The Calico Jungle, written and illustrated by Dahlov Ipcar, 1965.

And this one from The Warlock of Night, written and illustrated by Dahlov Ipcar, 1969.


Yes, thank you for posting this. Adolph and Dahlov were very nice people. I have her book still. Adolph and I had a few battles over the board at the Brunswick Chess Club when I was a kid.



What a wonderful acknowledgement of this woman's life and talent. It was a joy to see the paintings and her words about the making of her art. I second those ideas completely.


Fred Irons

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