Helder was born in Lynden, WA and lived in Seattle and Spokane
until relocating permanently to Los Angeles
in 1943. She studied at the University of Washington and at the
Art Students League in New York with Frank Vincent DuMond, George
Picken and Robert Brackman.
In 1939, Helder was on staff at the Spokane Arts Center under
the sponsorship of the Washington State W.P.A. teaching watercolor,
oil painting and lithography. While there, she executed a series
of Precisionist watercolors depicting the construction of the
Grand Coulee Dam and its environs for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Helder first gained national attention in 1936 having her work
accepted in the American Watercolor Society's exhibition in New
York. Her remarkable ability was noticed by Maynard Walker who
began representing her at his prestigious New York gallery, which
at the time carried some of America's finest artists.
A major accomplishment for the artist was her inclusion in the "Realists
and Magic Realists" exhibition at the Museum Of Modern Art
in New York in 1943 where she exhibited with major artists such
as Edward Hopper.
In addition, she also exhibited at the Whitney & Metropolitan
Museums, Oakland, Denver and Seattle Art
Museums. She had a one-person exhibition at SAM in 1939.
Helder was a member of Women Painters of Washington, the National
Association of Women Artists and the American and
California Watercolor Societies.
Her work is in the permanent collections of the Seattle Art
Museum, National Museum of American Art,Smith- sonian
Museum, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, The Portland Art
Museum,The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the St. Louis Art
Museum, The Academy
Of Arts And Letters, N.Y., I.B.M. Corporation and the Northwest
Museum of Art & Culture in Spokane which is the repository
of her complete series of the Grand Coulee Dam construction.
Giles Tennant, c. 1939
oil on Board, Private Collection
Rocks and Concrete, c. 1940,
of the Northwest Museum
of Arts & Culture, Spokane, WA
Not to be reproduced without permission
Near Fairfield", c. 1936, lithograph, Private Collection
& the artist's estate.
Do not reproduce text
or images without
from David Martin