Mimi Vang Olsen (1936- present, American)

Mimi Vang Olsen with her Cat in her Studio

Mimi Vang Olsen with her Cat in her Studio

Mimi Vang Olsen (1936- present, American) is a pet portraitist whose works are similar in style to those of the British artist Leslie Anne Ivory.  

Vang Olsen grew up in Brooklyn and her father was a photographer. His work influenced her to go into art. Her family lived in a small two bedroom apartment and her painting houses and their interiors grew out of  her dreams for a better living condition. After painting houses and their interiors, she noticed how all her neighbors had pets, so began to paint pet portraits as well. However, she sees her paintings of pets as an extension of house portraits with the pets as stars. Vang Olsen doesn’t just work from photographs, but also visits the pet’s home personally in order to interact with the animal and to take her own photos. She then produces an oil painting in 3-4 weeks that captures the pet’s personality, spirit, and most importantly the expression in the eyes.  However, Van Olsen’s portraits also capture the pet’s owner’s personalities as well through the differing backgrounds in her paintings.

Mimi Vang Olsen Photographing One of her Subjects

Mimi Vang Olsen Photographing One of her Subjects

Vang Olsen remains enthusiastic about doing these portraits because of her own love of animals, in particular her own cats Fuzzy and Wiggles.

Vang Olsen still continues to paint in her 80’s and lives in New York.

Check out her coloring books and calendars here.



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Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.  


Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Laura Vocelle


  1. Mimi Vang Olsen’s work is magnifique.

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