Birger Sandzen


(b Blidsberg, Västergötland, Sweden, 1871; d Lindsborg, Kansas, 1954) Swedish-American Painter. Birger Sandzen grew up in Sweden, studiously preparing for a career in the arts. He graduated from Skara College and, in 1891, traveled to Stockholm where he studied at what would become the Artist’s League School. Sandzen also spent time studying in Paris before he accepted a post at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Sandzen began teaching at Bethany in 1894; he taught not only studio art but at time also art history, vocal music, esthetics, French, Swedish, German and Spanish. He grew very fond of his adopted country and was especially inspired by the landscape of the American southwest. Sandzen is best known for his oil paintings of the Rocky Mountains, which are executed in bright colors with short, deliberate painterly brushstrokes, much influenced by his time in Paris with members of the Pointillist movement. Sandzen was also involved in printmaking and mural art. He was extremely prolific and his work was well received both critically and commercially.