Raymer Society Consignment Art Auction

Sandzen, Birger (1871-1954) "Weld Pond" 1949, lithograph

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Start price: $100

Estimated price: $500 - $750

Buyer's premium: 10%

Birger Sandzen (1891-1954) "Weld Pond" 1949, original lithograph, pencil signed and titled, good condition, some small creases and tape on the outer margins, no mat or frame, image size 15 x 20.25 inches. Born in Bildsberg, Sweden, Sven Sandzen had a long distinguished career as an art professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas and as an impressionist landscape painter. His work evolved from Pointillism to a very personal style of bold color and with masses of paint, akin to that of Vincent Van Gogh and Fauve painters Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse.His early work was Tonalist in style in the manner of Scandinavian Romanticism, but after he began taking trips to Colorado, where he created many paintings of the Rocky Mountains, his work became much more Expressionist and Fauve or brightly colored.He was the son of a Lutheran minister and received his art education in Europe, graduating in 1890 from the College of Skara in Sweden and then taking further study at the University of Lund. He was the pupil of Anders Zorn and studied painting at the Artists’ League of Stockholm and then with Aman-Jean in Paris.In 1894, he emigrated to Kansas where until 1945 he was professor at Bethany College and from then until his death, professor emeritus. Not only did he paint in the West including Yellowstone National Park in 1930, he amassed a personal collection of over 500 western paintings and drawings.At Bethany College, he organized the first exhibition of Swedish-American art held at that Swedish institution. The exhibit included paintings by himself and his colleagues. He was also active in the Swedish-American Society in Chicago.In 1916, he first went to Colorado and in the mid 1920s, taught some classes at the Broadmore Hotel. He also taught at Denver College and at Utah State College. From 1918, he became a regular visitor to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, and in 1922, exhibited with the Taos Society of Artists in New York.During the Depression, he was a W.P.A. artist and was the author of a book titled With Brush and Pencil. "He was also a founding member of the Prairie Printmakers Society. In the 1930s, a handful of intaglio and block print artists from Wichita, Lawrence and El Dorado, Kansas met with Sandzen in his studio and under his direction created one of America’s most successful print societies". (McCraw)Sources include:Peggy and Harold Samuels, Encyclopedia of Artists of the American WestFred McCraw, Art Writer of Kansas City and ResearcherBiography from Thomas Nygard GallerySVEN BIRGER SANDZÉN (1871-1954)Birger Sandzen had a long distinguished career as an art professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas and as an impressionist landscape painter. He is best known for his modernist style with masses of paint, akin to that of Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne, and for Rocky Mountain Landscape subjects. His early work is Tonalist in style in the manner of Scandanavian Romanticism, but after he began taking trips to Colorado, his work became much more Expressionist and brightly colored.Sven Birger Sandzen was born in Blidsberg, Sweden to Clara Elizabeth and Johan Peter Sandzen. His mother had studied drawing and his father, a minister, enjoyed writing poetry and playing the violin. When Birger’s parents noticed his artistic inclination, they asked a young minister to give drawing lessons to the nine year old. At the age of ten, he attended the College and Academy of Skara. Here his drawing and painting lessons continued under Olof Erlandsson, a graduate of the Royal Academy at Stockholm. After graduation from Skara College, Sandzen spent a semester at Lund University attending art history lectures and continuing the study of French. Following Lund University he went to the technical high school at Stockholm, where he studied perspective and form drawing. Sandzen joined a group of young artists and they rented a studio at Anders Zorn’s suggestion. They received instruction from Anders as well as Richard Bergh, a well-known portrait painter and Per Hasselberg, one of Sweden’s best sculptors. A doctor from the Caroline Medical Institute of Stockholm gave anatomy lessons. These young artists formed "The Art School of the Artists’ League" which played an important part in the development of modern Swedish art.In the summer of 1894 Sandzen returned to Sweden where he read the book entitled I Sverige by a young Swedish-American educator, Dr. Carl A. Swensson. Dr. Swensson, a college president, told of his struggles on the plains of Kansas and he challenged other young Swedes to come help him. Sandzen was excited by the proposition and wrote Dr. Swensson a letter asking if he could use a young artist who could sing tenor and teach French. As soon as Sandzen received the cable offering him a job, he accepted and arrived in Lindsborg, Kansas the day college opened in the fall.Birger soon realized Lindborg was where he wanted to make his home with the inspiring atmosphere of the new College and energy of the young teachers and president. He built a home, where he continued to live for fifty-four years. In 1900 he married Augusta Alfrida Leksell, a gifted pianist. They had one daughter, Margaret Elizabeth.With time Sandzen became more and more involved in teaching, even his evenings were reserved for class time. At around nine or ten in the evening he would find time for his own drawing. Sandzen’s inspiration came from his summers spent in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.Sandzen spent his time trying to generate an interest in art by talking to people about art, organizing exhibitions and establishing art clubs. He donated artwork to the local art club to help raise money for the purchasing of art books for the library, the financing of exhibitions, and the occasional awarding of a scholarship.The Babcock Galleries in New York hosted two large exhibitions of Sandzen’s work in 1922 and 1923. His sponsors, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, enthusiastically invited him to come. Sandzen’s reply was that he had classes and could not leave.Sandzen retired after fifty-two years of teaching at Bethany College. Sandzen had honorary doctorates bestowed upon him by Midland College of Fremont, Nebraska by Nebraska University, and by Kansas State College. In 1940 he was made a Knight if the Swedish Order of the North Star.After many months of failing health, Birger Sandzen passed away quietly in his home on June 19, 1954.

Condition: good condition, some small creases and tape on the outer margins, no mat or frame

Dimensions: 19.25 x 25 in