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 Alexander Oja  (1903 - 1966)


Painter, lithographer, and teacher Alexander Oja was of Finnish ancestry.  He grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and attended the St. Paul School of Art, where he studied with Cameron Booth, Clement Haupers, and Caleb Winholtz. 


He was a true Minnesota artist.  His exhibition record from 1929 to 1958 shows only one instance where his art was exhibited outside of Minnesota … at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.  In Minnesota he exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota State Fair and the St. Paul Gallery and School of Art. 


Oja was employed on the Minnesota WPA Federal Art Project, where he flourished as a printmaker.  He also made a few etchings, but the bulk of his artwork was watercolor paintings.


He was a teacher at the Minneapolis WPA Art Center (1938), St. Paul Art Center (1938 – 1945), St. Paul Gallery and School of Art (1943 – 1947) and was a staff artist for the Science Museum of St. Paul from 1942 – 1966.


He received awards on his artwork from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1930 and 1932; and from the Minnesota State Fair in 1941, 1942 and 1944.

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