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