Harmsen, Dorothy B. Bahneman 1905(?)-2006

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Harmsen, Dorothy B. Bahneman 1905(?)-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born c. 1905, in Minneapolis, MN; died of heart failure, August 29, 2006, in Denver, CO. Business owner and author. Along with her husband, William, Harmsen was the founder of the Jolly Rancher Candy Company. She attended the University of Minnesota before becoming a fashion model in 1934. After marrying her husband, she moved to Denver, where they started a small ice cream and candy company on their farm. By 1950, after the success of their Fire Stix cinnamon candy, they focused on hard candies and developed their famous Jolly Ranchers. In 1966, the Harmsens sold their company and retired comfortably. They became art collectors, and Harmsen was especially knowledgeable about Western art. She published Harmsen's Western Americana: A Collection of One Hundred Western Paintings with Biographical Profiles of the Artists (1971; 2nd edition, 1978) and American Western Art: A Collection of One Hundred Twenty-five Western Paintings and Sculpture with Biographies of the Artists (1977). In 2001, Harmsen and her husband donated approximately seven thousand pieces of art to the Denver Art Museum.



Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2006, p. B11.