Printmaker and painter. Known particularly for prints representing contemporary American life, often from a leftist, worker-oriented viewpoint, she also produced satirical and nonpolitical subjects. In her early years, she also painted portraits and later, worked with watercolor and collage. Born in Minneapolis, she studied architecture at the University of Minnesota before transferring to the Minneapolis School of Art (now Minneapolis College of Art and Design). In the early 1920s George Luks became a mentor at the Art Students League. In 1925 she left for Europe to study and travel. After returning to the United States in 1929, she lived in New Hampshire before moving to Omaha in 1932. There she took up lithography and, convinced that American artists should confront the realities of American life, produced a series of ten lithographs picturing subjects observed in the Omaha stockyards. Between 1933 and 1940 she worked for federal art projects in Omaha and, from 1935, in New York. Reflecting her interest in egalitarian causes, she became a leader in advocating large editions of prints that could be made available to the general public at an affordable cost. In 1936 she participated in founding the American Artists' Congress. Stylistically, her work varied, according to its purpose, from straightforward realism to forcefully patterned, emotionally charged interpretation. Her color lithograph Steel Mills (1938) falls somewhere in between: a sketchy cluster of workers' houses cowers before strong, overpowering mill forms. Olds also contributed illustrations to several publications, including The Masses, and after World War II she wrote and illustrated six notable children's books. She died in Sarasota, Florida, where she had resided since 1972.