Jean Beyer Stange

Honored by:Dr. Frank and Hildegarde Crane
Brick location:A:10  map

Jean Beyer Stange was born to Charles Henry Stange (class of 1907) and Harriet (Beyer) Stange (class of 1907) in Ames, Iowa, on June 7, 1920. The name of her maternal grandmother, Jennie (McElyea) Beyer (class of 1879), and the name of her mother, Harriet Stange, are also included in THE PLAZA of HEROINES a three-generation Iowa State College family.

Jean received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Art in 1943. That fall she became a graduate assistant to the Goldstein sisters, Harriet and Vetta, at the University of Minnesota. Authors of the classic textbook, "Art in Everday Life,' these two highly respected and beloved professors became her mentors and friends over the years, both of them living into their nineties.

During Christmas vacation, 1943, Vera Friley, wife of President Charles E. Friley, invited Jean to the Knoll to meet Esther Sietmann Dendel, then Esther Warner, and her husband, both Iowa State College graduates. Having just returned from a two-year stay in Liberia, West Africa, Esther, an outstanding Applied Art alumna, had been offered a teaching position under the Goldsteins at the University of Minnesota beginning January 1944. Esther accepted the position and from that initial meeting at the Knoll a life-long friendship has flourished. Esther's name is also included in the PLAZA of HEROINES.

Upon receiving her Master of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota in 1945, Jean taught at universities including Tennessee, Nebraska, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Arizona State University, from which she retired in 1983.

Always interested in crafts, she first became active in craft circles when living in East Tennessee. She became a juried member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, which was established in the 1930's and comprised parts of a seven state area. Later she served as President of the Central Chapter of Arizona Designer-Craftsmen, and in retirement, continues to be a member of that organization.

Working particularly in the fiber arts, Jean's work has been exhibited in national state and local juried shows in museums in cities such as Detroit, Milwaukee, Omaha, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. Her work has been selected to hang in the National Headquarters of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in Washington, D.C. in architectural firms and in private homes.

Among her former students are two who have gone on to become curators in art centers, such as the Los Angeles County Museum and Colonial Williamsburg.

In 1979, she enjoyed a sabbatical leave from Arizona State University, attending Goldsmith's College, University of London for three months. During that time she also photographed some of the collections in London's Victoria and Albert Museum, particularly its historic French and English interiors furniture and textiles resulting in slides used in classrooms at the univeristy and community colleges in Arizona. Traveling about Scotland and England, she enjoyed following history by visiting their historic churches and museums, as well as their manor houses and palaces.

In retirement, Jean remained active as a docent at Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, Arizona.

Photo: Jean Stange proudly standing next to the bronze bust of her father, Dean Stange, in the ISU Veterinary Medicine Building in May 1995.

Submitted on 6/10/95