Rie Muñoz

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Rie Muñoz (August 17, 1921 – April 6, 2015) was an American artist and Bureau of Indian Affairs educator.

Early life[edit]

Muñoz was born Marie Mounier[1] in Van Nuys, California[2] and then moved with her family to the Netherlands as a child. Rie and a sibling were returned to the US by their parents before the outbreak of World War II, where they lived with family friends. The parents intended to follow, but were unable to leave for seven years following the German invasion of the Netherlands.[1] In the US, Muñoz studied art at Washington and Lee University. She visited Juneau, Alaska in 1951 as a visitor, but became enamored of Southeast Alaska and decided to stay.[3]


Muñoz' work featured watercolors, and she created prints of Alaska life.[4] Muñoz taught school in rural Alaska, and worked as a writer and cartoonist for the Juneau Empire. She worked as a museum curator, in addition to her work as a full-time artist.[3] Her art has been featured in museums outside of Alaska, including the Frye Art Museum in Seattle.[5] She received the University of Alaska's Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree in May of 1999[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1957, Muñoz and her husband, Juan, spent a year away from Alaska. Juan and Rie Muñoz lived at the time on Mercer Island, Washington, where Juan was employed as a geologist. The couple had a home near the East Channel Bridge. The couple later returned to Alaska.[5]

Juan and Rie Muñoz had two sons, Felipe and Juan, Jr. Felipe died from kidney cancer as a child. Juan and Rie divorced in 1963, and Rie subsequently settled in Juneau, where she spent the rest of her life.[1]

Her daughter-in-law is Alaska State Representative Cathy Muñoz. In 2015, Rie Muñoz died in Juneau, Alaska of a stroke, aged 93.[7]


Muñoz's work is featured on Alaska's Heirloom Birth Certificate.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Celebrated Alaska artist Rie Munoz dies in Juneau at 93". Alaska Dispatch News. April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Stolpe, Klas (August 17, 2011). "Rie Muñoz celebrates 90 years". Juneau Empire. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Renowned artist Rie Muñoz dies". Juneau Empire. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  4. ^ Fainberg, Denise (2012). Explorer's Guide Washington. Countryman Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-88150-974-8.
  5. ^ a b "Alaskan artist recalls life on MI". Mercer Island Reporter. November 24, 2008.
  6. ^ "Rie Munoz Biography". www.riemunoz.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  7. ^ "Alaska watercolor artist Rie Munoz dies at 93". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "Birth Certificate". State of Alaska. Retrieved December 25, 2014.