Art for All: the Swedish Experience in Mid-AmericaSeptember 15, 2021 at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Time: September 15, 2021 at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Hillstrom Museum of Art presents Art for All: The Swedish Experience in Mid-America, on view September 13 through November 7, 2021.  The exhibit, which was co-organized by the Museum with the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas, features 60 paintings, drawings, and prints by 20 prominent Swedish American artists working in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Supported with grants from the Swedish Council of America, the exhibit debuted in Lindsborg in 2019 and will later appear at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago (January 14 through May 20, 2022).

Many Swedish artists who came to America brought with them a newly-instilled democratic attitude toward art, codified in the motto “art for all” and promulgated by the recently-formed Konstnärsförbundet (Artists League) in Stockholm, which sprung from a desire to modernize the Swedish Royal Academy and its attitudes.  In the case, for instance, of painter and printmaker Birger Sandzén (1871-1954), this manifested itself in his devotion to printmaking, which allowed even those of limited financial means to afford art.

Sandzén was one of the first artists collected by Hillstrom Museum of Art namesake Richard L. Hillstrom, as was Sandzén’s friend, Chicago artist Charles E. Hallberg (1855-1940).  The earliest years of Hillstrom’s collecting were dedicated to Swedish-American artists, and such works form an emphasis in the collection of the Museum.

Art for All: The Swedish Experience in Mid-America is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, and was the subject of an article in the October 2019 issue of American Art Review, written by Cori Sherman North, Curator of the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, with Donald Myers, Director of the Hillstrom Museum of Art.

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