Louise Emerson Ronnebeck (1901-1980) was an American painter best known for her murals executed for the Works Progress Administration. She built a successful career documenting the history of the American West and social issues of the 1930s and 1940s, all the while balancing marriage, family and career. A graduate of Barnard College in 1922, she then studied for three years at the Art Students League. During the summers of 1923 and 1924 she studied fresco painting at the Écoles d’Art Américaines in Fontainebleu, France. In 1926, she married modernist sculptor and lithographer, Arnold Rönnebeck (1885-1947) settling in Denver, Colorado.
During the 1930s and 1940s she created an extensive body of easel paintings that were exhibited in the West. She executed many commissions for frescoes and murals in the Denver area. Unfortunately, few of these fresco works survive. She was awarded two mural commissions by the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts. The first, in 1938, was entitled The Fertile Land Remembers for the Worland, Wyoming Post Office. The mural was later moved to the Casper, Wyoming Post Office in the Casper Federal Building, where it remains today. The second, in 1940, was entitled Harvest and was for the Grand Junction, Colorado Post Office and Court House. It was moved to the Aspinall Federal Building in 1992.
She was a modern woman balancing family and career before it was commonplace. Perhaps because he was an artist himself, her husband continually encouraged her work. She said said in an interview in 1930, “Between the children’s meal time, the mother rests while the artist works”, and went on to describe herself as “first a woman and mother, and after that an artist”.