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Joanna Beall Westermann was born in Chicago in 1935 and raised in Connecticut. She was deeply immersed in the world of art from an early age, as the daughter of the renowned graphic designer and painter Lester Beall Sr. Her education took her to Yale University, where she studied under Josef Albers, and to Mexico, where she apprenticed with Diego Rivera, before completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1958. It was in Chicago that she met her husband, H.C. Westermann, a sculptor and printmaker, with whom she shared a symbiotic artistic relationship, exchanging ideas and techniques.

Beall Westermann’s work was featured in numerous institutional presentations during her lifetime, including exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, 1973; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1973; The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, 1976; UCLA University Galleries, Los Angeles; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; Oakland Museum, California; and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. Beall Westermann showed extensively throughout her career including exhibitions at Allan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago, 1960 and 1961; Rolf Nelson Gallery, Los Angeles, 1968 and 1971; The Great Building Crack Up Gallery, New York, 1973; James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, 1974, 1977 and 1985; and Xavier Fourcade Gallery, New York, 1980. Her work is held in the collections of the Smart Museum of Art, the University of Chicago and the Copley Foundation, New York. Beall Westermann passed away in 1997 in Connecticut.