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Svend Rasmussen Svendsen 1864 - 1945

Svend Svendsen, Winter Firelight
Wintert Firelight

Svend Svendsen, Path in the Snow
Path in the Snow
Svend Svendsen

Svend Rasmussen Svendsen was born in Nittedal, Norway, in 1864, and spent his childhood in Oslo. He left school in Norway at age 12 to work. At 17, he emigrated to the United States, settling in Chicago. There he married May Isabel Newton, and they had five children. In Norway he studied with Fritz Thaulow, and later studied watercolor painting with Edward F. Ertz at the Academie Delecluse in Paris in 1896.

Svendsen had frequent exhibits at the Chicago Art Institute between 1895 and 1925, and also at the the National Academy of Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

During the height of his notariety, he would visit his Norway homeland to paint snow scenes, something Norway had in abundance. He won various prizes at the Nashville Exposition in 1897 and the St. Louis Exposition of 1904, among other numerous exhibitions and recognitions. (See a Norman Neheimen column from the Minneapolis Tribune, May 31, 1901 below.) He has been included in exhibits of prominent Scandinavian-American artists in the United States and Norway, and his works are featured in major art auctions on a regular basis.

Today his work is featured in featured at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, the University of Minnesota and at the Spanierman Gallery in Chicago. His art is on display at the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.

Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery is pleased to include Svend Svendsen to our list of other notable Norwegian / American artists; Nels Hagerup, Paul Lauritz, and Carl Henrik Jonnevold. Svend Svendsen died died in Chicago in 1945.

Sources: Luther College (finearts.luther.edu); Askart; Strand, A.E., A History of the Norwegians of Illinois; Gerdts, William H., The Friedman Collection: Artists of Chicago.
a column by Norman Naheimen, Minneapolis Tribune, May 31, 1901.

Newspaper Article, Norman Naheimen column, Minneapolis Tribune, May 31, 1901

Svend Svendsen Minneapolis Tribune May 31 1901