By the age of twenty, young Emil Carlsen had emigrated to the United States from Copenhagen. He first established himself in Chicago as a painter, leaving briefly to study in Paris and returning to teach at the Chicago Art Institute. He then moved to San Francisco, rooming with a friend from his Paris, Arthur Matthews. Mathews and Carlsen shared a studio on Montgomery Street, but with slow sales of his work in California and teaching not paying his bills, he moved to New York and Connecticut where he found more success. Carlsen's painting style mostly self taught was influenced by his tenure in Paris. He is thought to be an impressionist, with delicate landscapes, seascapes, and still lifes, but is noted for his bringing impressionistic approaches to color and light to traditional representational art.
Emil Carlsen's work hangs in many museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Oakland Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Fellow artist (thirty years his junior) Eliot Candee Clark wrote, "Emil Carlsen is serene and tranquil. ... he has expressed in his work his own temperament. His art is static, not dynamic. In his expression we see a poise and balance, and a sense of contentment which is the direct emanation of his own being. ... he sees through the veil of the visual world the eternal verity."
Source: AskArt, Emil Carlsen, pub. Wortsman Rowe Galleries, SF. 1975