Who was Joan Adams Mondale?
Joan Adams Mondale was widely known as the wife of former vice president Walter F Mondale who died on Monday, April 19, at age 93. He served under Jimmy Carter as the vice president from 1977 to 1981. During his time in office, his wife, Mondale the Second Lady, came to be known as “Joan of Art.”
Mondale was a familiar and known face in the art scene.
Walter Mondale championed progressive causes and changed the role of VP—so leaders like @JoeBiden could be the last ones in the room when decisions were made. In selecting Geraldine Ferraro, he also paved the way for @VP to make history. Michelle and I send prayers to his family.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
How old was Joan Adams Mondale?
Joan Adams Mondale was 83 years old at the time of death, 2014.
Joan Adams Mondale Biography
Born on 8th August 1930, Joan Adams was raised in her hometown in Eugene, Oregon. She was the daughter of Presbyterian minister Rev John Maxwell Adams and Eleanor Jane Hall. The couple had three daughters together.
Joan attended the Media Friends School, in Media, Pennsylvania, a public school in Columbus, Ohio and St Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, Minnesota. She later went to Macalester College in St Paul. She worked at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Walter Mondale Wife Joan Adams Mondale
Her husband’s autobiography recounts how the couple met and the story is an endearing one. It was Joan’s sister, Jane who set them up. An article by MPR News recounted the same. “Jane said, ‘Would you like to go out with us?’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ And she said, ‘Whom would you like to be your escort?’ and I said, ‘Well, Fritz Mondale,'” Joan said. “But I never thought I’d meet him. I mean, that was a big deal.”
For the pair, it was love at first sight. “I remember once we went down the St. Croix River — that is when I fell in love with that. Joan and I canoed down there,” he said. “I was always going to political meetings, and she came along with me for a lot of those.” He added.
Joan Adams Mondale Wedding
The pair tied the knot in 1955 after just seven dates. Mondale was initially worried that Joan’s father would object, seeing that he was the chaplain at Macalester College, where he had an “iffy record of attendance at chapel, where they kept records.”
The couple went on to have three children — Ted Mondale, a Minnesota politician and former State Senator, Eleanor Jane Mondale Poling, a television and radio personality and William Hall Mondale, the Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Minnesota Attorney.
Joan Adams Mondale Biography
An accomplished potter, Joan worked at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Minneapolis Institute of Art and later at galleries. She moved to Washington in 1964 when her husband became a senator and she led guided tours at the National Gallery. As the Second Lady, she used this opportunity to convert the Vice Presidential Mansion into a gallery of American art, featuring works of Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Hopper, Louise Nevelson and Ansel Adams.
She was also the chairperson of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. She was also a published author, having written multiple books, such as “Politics in Art” in 1972, “The Mondale Family Cookbook” in 1984 and “Letters From Japan” in 1998.
As reported by the Washington Post, Joan spoke about her role in the field of art. “I felt what I could do was encourage audiences, appreciative audiences. I was an appreciator. I was a consumer. I’m not a critic. I’m not an art historian. But what I could do was sort of say thank you to the arts community”.
Joan Adams Mondale Death
Following the death of wife Joan, former vice president Walter F Mondale had said, “We are grateful for the expressions of love and support we have received. Joan was greatly loved by many. We will miss her dearly.”
Joan Adams Mondale Cause of Death
Joan Mondale died in 2014, at the age of 83. She was battling Alzheimer’s disease at the time of her death.