Vera Belle Arnold

1903, Hastings, Nebraska – 1978, San Bernardino, California

A painter, sculptor, and teacher, Vera Arnold never married and, from her mid 30s, lived in California where she worked as an artist and art teacher. Vera was born in Nebraska, the oldest of three children of Ida Belle and Mason C. Arnold. When she was age seven, she was living in the small village of Carleton, near Hebron, Nebraska with her family, which included her twin brother Vern and another brother six years older. However by 1920, her parents had divorced, and Vera, now 16, was living in Hastings, Nebraska in a rented home with her mother, twin brother, and her mother’s second husband, William Chesley.

During this time, Vera earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hastings College and then went to Greeley, Colorado where she received a Master of Science degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She also taught there until 1935. She showed with the Lincoln Artists’ Guild exhibition taking place from October 20 to November 10, 1937. By 1940, she was in San Diego teaching at San Diego College. Shortly after, she began a 25-year teaching career at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Vera Arnold, who died in California, is buried in her birth town of Hastings, Nebraska at Parkview Cemetery.

Vera Arnold is not represented in the Museum of Nebraska Art collection.

Sources:, May 2015
Find A, Sep. 2016
Hughes, Edan Milton, Artists in California 1786-1940, Volume I, Print
Walsh, Stacey, Collections Manager, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska, Lincoln Artists’ Guild Exhibition Information

Researched, written, and copyrighted by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier

Museum of Nebraska Art Project:
Their Place, Their Time: Women Artists in Nebraska, 1825-1945