Saturday, October 1, 2016

birger sandzen talk


The day trip for the Nelson Atkins Print Society began with lunch at the Swedish Crown Restaurant in downtown Lindsborg. The meal was delicious.

Some members enjoyed the excellent weather and strolled around the corner to the Post Office. Others drove and joined us inside.

From one side to the other was the canvas joined to the wall. A painting of intense color.

The signature of painter.

The mural painting by Birger Sandzén, titled Smoky River, on the west wall of the Lindsborg Post Office was unveiled on February 12, 1938. It was financed through the United States Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture. Sandzén also painted Kansas Stream for the Bellville Post Office in 1939 and Where Kit Carson Camped for the Halstead Post Office in 1941.

Two minutes. Packed lobby of post office to behold the river.

Walk to Sandzen's Studio

It was a beautiful day. David and Roxie McGee and others walked to the Bethany College campus. The group gathered at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery. First, to tour the artist's studio. Next, to hear about Sandzen's life. And after, to learn about the work of the Prairie Print Maker Maurice Bebb.

The Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery was opened in 1957 and exhibits artwork by its namesake, Birger Sandzén throughout the year. The gallery also exhibits works from its collection and presents art by guest artists and through traveling exhibitions.


Gallery Curator Cori Sherman North introduced the visiting group to Sanzen's life. Part One. Three minutes.

Part Two.Eighteen minutes.

Read Mrs Massey Holmes commissioned Birger Sandzen painting for Nelson Atkins Museum
See Thomas Berger Johnson paintings and metal work, student of Sandzen
See Sandzen Block Prints
See Sandzen Lithographs

Birger Sandzén (1871 – 1954) was born in Blidsberg, Sweden in 1871. He studied art in Stockholm with Anders Zorn and Richard Berg and for approximately three months in Paris with Edmond Francois Aman-Jean. In 1894, he came to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas to teach languages and assist in the art department and vocal music department. He remained at Bethany for the remainder of his career, becoming the principal art instructor in 1899 and retiring in 1946. Throughout this period, and after he retired as Professor Emeritus, he was a prolific painter and print maker until his death in 1954. During his lifetime he completed in excess of 2600 oil paintings and 500 watercolors. He created 207 lithographs, 94 block prints and 27 dry points, which when the editions are totaled amount to over 33,000 prints. In addition he was a consummate draftsman.

Road trip to the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg, Kansas
Saturday, September 17, 2017

Photo and video credit: Karl Marxhausen

Friday, September 30, 2016

sandzen studio - lindsborg

December 28, 1930
Charter member of the Prairie Print Makers
met in front of the studio of Birger Sandzen

 Charter members of Prairie Print Makers

Birger Sandzén’s studio is still in the same condition it was in on the day that he died. Members of the Nelson Atkins Print Society drove out to Lindsborg, Kansas to take the tour of Sandzen's studio. Our entourage was divided into two groups. In this manner both groups were able to see the inside of the studio and listen to the gallery staffer speak.
"Granite Banks," Lithograph, 1932, Birger Sandzen

Eighteen minutes. Our guide Rose Marie Wallen led us. Our group saw the big brushes the painter used, his library of books, the handmade apple trees, the oriental statuary he admired and much more. Double click on image to enlarge.
"Trees and Hills," Lithograph, 1920, Birger Sandzen

"Smoky Hill River," Linoleum cut, 1938, Birger Sandzen

Sandzen's desk

Studio has not yet been added the the National Registry of Historic Places.

As we walked back to the main gallery, I couldn't help but notice the trees on campus. The kind that show up in Sandzen's imagery. Take the Ponderoso pine below.

"In the Heart of the Rockies," Woodcut (Nailcut), 1919, Birger Sandzen

Today the premises where the studio of Birger Sandzen stands looks like any other property in Lindsborg. Yet it was here that relationships with Sandzen - discussed, made plans, shared the latest endeavor, and encouraged each to cut wood blocks, draw litho stones, paint canvases. Art students carried their experiences beyond Lindsborg. The memory of this place remains a touchpoint.           Karl Marxhausen


Photo of Prairie Print Maker Charter Members courtesy of "The Prairie Print Makers," Exhibits USA and Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2001

Post by Karl Marxhausen

Thursday, September 29, 2016

john mallery - maurice bebb

After the curator's talk on Birger Sandzen, members of the Nelson Atkins Print Society gathered to look at the etchings and dry points of the Oklahoma artist, Maurice R. Bebb 1891-1986. Print Society president John Mallery spoke on Bebb's works. 

According to Mallery, Bebb had a unique printmaking career. He didn’t start drawing until he was in his 50’s and started printmaking full time after he retired as a florist in 1951 (Bebb’s Flowers is still in business in Muskogee, OK, although it is no longer owned by the Bebb family). 
Maurice Bebb was best known for his color multiplate, soft-ground etching and aquatint prints of birds. But he also created wonderful landscapes and architectural prints, many as a result of his two trips to Europe in 1956 and 1958. He created gift prints for the Chicago Society of Etchers, Printmakers Society of California and the Prairie Print Makers.

Mallery gave his presentation on Maurice Bebb and provided unique insight into the artist since he contributed to the catalog's raisonné.

Twenty-eight minute talk on Maurice Bebb's etchings. Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery on campus of Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas

Mallery loaned 80 works from his collection to create the retrospective exhibition.

A collaboration between John Mallery, curator Cori Sherman North and Jim Harbison produced the book "Birds and Beyond: The Prints of Maurice R. Bebb." Now available through Amazon.


Post: Karl Marxhausen