|Second Lady of the United States|
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
|Preceded by||Happy Rockefeller|
|Succeeded by||Barbara Bush|
August 8, 1930
|Died||February 3, 2014
(1955–2014; her death)
|Children||Theodore A. Mondale
Eleanor Mondale (deceased)
William H. Mondale
|Parents||John Maxwell Adams
Eleanor Jane Hall
Joan Mondale (née Adams; August 8, 1930 – February 3, 2014) was Second Lady of the United States from 1977 until 1981 as the wife of Walter Mondale. She was an artist and author and served on the boards of several organizations. For her promotion of the arts, she was affectionately dubbed Joan of Art.
Family and education
Joan Adams was born in Eugene, Oregon, one of three daughters of the Rev. John Maxwell Adams, a Presbyterian minister, and his wife, the former Eleanor Jane Hall. She attended Media Friends School, an integrated Quaker school in Media, Pennsylvania; a public school in Columbus, Ohio; and later St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1952, she graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul with a bachelor's degree in history, where her father was chaplain. After graduation, she worked at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
The couple had three children:
- Ted Mondale (b. October 12, 1957), Minnesota politician, former State Senator, and candidate for Governor of Minnesota
- Eleanor Jane Mondale Poling (January 19, 1960 – September 17, 2011), television and radio personality who died of brain cancer at 51
- William Hall Mondale (b. February 27, 1962), Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, 1990–2000
In 1964, Walter replaced Hubert Humphrey as a U.S. Senator, and held the post until 1976, when Democratic presidential candidate Jimmy Carter selected him as his running-mate in his successful bid for the Presidency.
Out of office during Reagan's first administration, Walter Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984. As a prospective First Lady, Joan told Maureen Dowd of the New York Times that she would not talk about recipes or clothes during the campaign, but when her husband's political opponents made issue with this, costing him votes, she published The Mondale Family Cookbook, with recipes like Fettucine à la Pimento Mondale, and declared that she was a "traditional wife and mother and supporter".
Walter was not elected, and the Mondales returned to Minnesota, where they lived until his term as U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1993–96), after which he resumed his Minneapolis-based law practice.
'Joan of Art'
Joan was a lifelong practitioner, patron, and advocate of the arts, and her nickname 'Joan of Art' was a sincere tribute.
An accomplished potter, she studied art at college, and then worked in galleries, before moving to Washington as a Senator's wife in 1964, and led guided tours at the National Gallery of Art. In 1972, she wrote a book 'Politics in Art', examining how political commentary is reflected in artworks. Later she regularly gave tours as a guide for friend Ellen Proxmire (the then wife of Wisconsin Democratic Senator William Proxmire)'s company whirl-around.
Later, as Second Lady, she turned the Vice Presidential Mansion into a showcase of American art, with works by artists including Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Hopper, Louise Nevelson, and Ansel Adams. At this time, she also served as chairperson of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.
As the U.S. Ambassador's wife in Japan, she enthusiastically promoted inter-cultural understanding through art, redecorating the Embassy with American paintings and organising tours with a bi-lingual guide. She studied Japanese art. and impressed the Mayor of Kyoto by presenting him with a ceramic bowl she had made herself in the traditional Mashiko style.
She was the author of Letters From Japan, a collection of essays about life overseas published in 1998.
Back in her home state, Mrs. Mondale continued to make her own pottery and promote the arts. She served on the boards of the Minnesota Orchestra, Walker Art Center, Macalester College and the National Portrait Gallery. In 2004, the Textile Center in Minneapolis endowed an exhibition space in her honor, the Joan Mondale Gallery, perhaps America's chief showcase for fiber art.
On February 2, 2014, the Mondale family announced that she had entered hospice care. Joan Mondale died at the hospice in Minneapolis the following day, surrounded by members of her family. She was later cremated.
- Politics in Art. 1972. ISBN 978-0822501701.
- The Mondale Family Cookbook. 1984. ASIN B000LGQZPC.
- Letters from Japan. 1997. ISBN 978-0966222005.
- Gates, Anita (February 3, 2014). "Joan Mondale, Arts Advocate and Wife of Vice President, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Bakst, Brian (February 3, 2014). "Joan Mondale, art-loving former 2nd lady, has died". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Arnold, Laurence. "Joan Mondale, Art-Loving Wife of U.S. Vice President, Dies at 83". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- "Walter Mondale Fast Facts". CNN.com. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- The Future of the Cookbook. Kim Beeman, Sept. 24th 2009. www.futureofthecookbook.org
- Joan Mondale: An Inventory of Her Papers
- Brian Peterson. "Joan Mondale, wife of former VP Walter Mondale, dies at 83". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- "Joan Mondale, wife of former VP Walter, dies at 83". Mprnews.org. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
|Second Lady of the United States