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Joan Mondale
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Celebrity's Relative
    (August 8, 1930-February 3, 2014)
    Born in Eugene, Oregon
    Birth name was Joan Adams
    Married then-Minneapolis based lawyer (later US Senator) Walter 'Fritz' Mondale (1955)
    Served as the Second Lady of the United States when her husband was Vice President under Jimmy Carter (1977-81)
    Appointed by President Carter as honorary chairwoman of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities
    Campaigned as the prospective First Lady during her husband's 1984 Presidential bid, as the Democratic Party nominee, losing to incumbent President Ronald Reagan
    Author of 'Letters From Japan,' a collection of essays about life overseas (1998)
    Also wrote 'Politics in Art' (1972) and 'The Mondale Family Cookbook' (1984)
    Served on the boards of the Minnesota Orchestra, Walker Art Center, Macalester College and the National Portrait Gallery
    She was nicknamed 'Joan of Art.'
    She was impersonated by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
    Her advocacy for federal art funding was greeted by some art enthusiasts with skepticism, who deemed the efforts counterintuitive.
    One art critic specifically commented in 1978, 'Every time Joan Mondale opens her mouth to talk about the crafts, we get the shivers. We feel a sense of declining standards.'
    She surmised her husband's loss to Ronald Reagan as follows - 'Maybe I wasn’t outrageous enough. Maybe I should have been more sensational.'
    In a precursor to Hillary Clinton's more famous 'bake cookies' slip, she caused controversy in the 1984 race when she told Maureen Dowd that she would not talk about clothes or recipes as a political spouse.
    Also like Hillary, she backtracked on the comment when it became a political liability and cost her husband votes, publishing the 'Mondale Family Cookbook' and declaring herself to be 'the traditional wife and mother and supporter.'
    Her hobby was pottery, which she had studied during her days in art school.
    She was a diehard supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, even after it failed passage.
    She was an Ansel Adams enthusiast who loved Edward Hopper.
    She remained close friends with First Lady Rosalynn Carter, after leaving the White House.
    She led guided tours at the National Gallery of Art during her early days in Washington D.C.
    She turned the Vice Presidential Mansion into a showcase of American art, with works by Robert Rauschenberg and Louise Nevelson.
    She did more than anyone post-Jackie Kennedy to bring culture and art into the White House.
    When her husband was appointed Ambassador of Japan, she was key in redecorating the Embassy with American paintings and organizing tours with a bi-lingual guide.
    She was an enthusiastic promoter of inter-cultural understanding through art, impressing the Mayor of Kyoto by presenting him with a traditional Mashiko ceramic bowl.
    She had the distinction of campaigning alongside the first major female Vice-Presidential nominee, Geraldine Ferraro, and they would speak warmly of each other for years after their loss.
    She was made the namesake of an exhibition space at the Textile Center in Minneapolis in 2004, the Joan Mondale Gallery, America’s foremost showcase for fiber art.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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