The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1986, Volume 32, Number 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

Painting Ladies ~ The Artists ~ The Images

b. Leavenworth, Kansas August 3, 1899
(currently residing in San Diego)

Mina Pulsifer A graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Leavenworth, Mina began her art studies at the Kansas City Art Institute. After her marriage to George Pulsifer, a West Point graduate and retired Major in the U.S. Army, the couple moved to San Diego about 1924. In order to continue her art training, she enrolled at the San Diego Academy of Fine Arts where she studied under Eugene De Vol and Otto H. Schneider. Later, she took independent instruction from Nicolai Fechin and Frederick Taubes.

An active member of the San Diego Art Guild, Mina received several important awards at the group’s exhibitions. Best-known as a portrait painter she exhibited her Tonio at the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. After the fair, she moved into a studio in the Spanish Village where she also served on the board of directors. In addition, she served on the board of the San Diego Art Guild which included a term as president in 1944. Among her important portrait commissions were State Senator Ben Hulse and Vice Admiral Charles A. Pownall, former Governor of Guam.

Portrait of Donal Hord by Mina Pulsifer . In the 1940s, Mina turned her attention to printmaking, particularly lithography, and began to receive recognition in that field. The Associated American Artists of New York published three of her lithographs, giving her work wide exposure. Lithographs were also 1n- in two European traveling shows organized by the Boston Public Library. Her prints can be found in the collections of the Boston Public Library, Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, National Bezalel Museum in Jerusalem, and several California museums.

Mina’s work is direct and spontaneous, giving her portraits an immediacy that is intimate and life-like. The success of her prints is due largely to the accuracy and clarity of her drawing, as well as to her excellent sense of composition. During the 1960s she shared her skills by conducting life drawing and painting workshops for the San Diego Art Guild. Continuing to exhibit into the 1970s, her style became more progressive with the times.

(Ref. Mallory; SDET 7-10-70 134:1-5; SDHC curatorial files; SDU 2-22-53 E3:1-2)