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Harold Demont Olsen

 (born 1928)
Harold Demont Olsen is active/lives in Utah / Canada.  Harold Olsen is known for painting, illustration, drawing, etching, teaching.

Harold Demont Olsen

Biography from the Archives of askART

Harold Demont Olsen BFA (1928) (1)

A Utah painter, printmaker, educator and illustrator, Harold Demont Olsen was born in Salt Lake City, which is also where he currently (2016) lives. His career as a professional artist and teacher spans over half a century. He has painted and taught extensively in the western U.S.A. and western Canada.

His mediums include oils, watercolors, graphite and etchings. His subjects are landscapes, seascapes, rural scenes, rivers, lakes, boats, mountains, deserts and the prairies. The Rocky Mountains, the western U.S. deserts, and the Canadian prairies are frequent subjects of Olsen paintings. He has also painted elsewhere in the U.S.A. notably in New England and South Carolina. His styles could be described as Naturalism* or Realism*. The askART auction images are good illustrations of his oeuvre.

He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (1954) at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City and served in the U.S. Air Force in the mid 1950s. He has taught privately in Salt Lake City, at workshops throughout the western U.S.A. and Canada, and at the Springville Museum of Art, Utah. He has also illustrated covers for Reader’s Digest magazine. (2)

Voris Gallery, Salt Lake City was an exhibitor of his works. A painting of his is in the permanent collection of the Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, Montana.
(1) Please note: Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts says Olsen was born in 1928, The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction says it was 1929. The records of the University of Utah Alumni Association show his birthday as January 1, 1928. Source: Charice Taylor, University of Utah Alumni Association.

(2) Please note: An article titled “Show Crafts and Paintings” page A9, The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, November 14, 1966 states, "... Utah's Harold Olsen, known for Reader's Digest cover illustrations...." We did not search for the dates of the issues with his cover illustrations. – M.D. Silverbrooke
Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts (2009), by Donna L. Poulton and Vern G. Swanson; Gibbs Smith, Layton, Utah [biography]

The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see askART Publications) [biography]

Artists of Utah (1999), by Robert S. Olpin, William C. Seifrit and Vern G. Swanson; Gibbs Smith, Salt Lake City [students]

Randall House, Rare Books, Santa Barbara, California [biography]

Obituary for Patricia Whitmore Olsen (1930 – 2016) [Olsen’s wife – 1951 to her death January 28, 2016], Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 31, 2016 [current address]

Obituary for Vera C. Olsen (1908 – 1998) [Olsen’s mother], Deseret News, Thursday, November 19, 1998 [birthplace]

“Springville Art Museum Will offer Art Classes” page U3, Deseret News, February 22, 1984 [teaching]

“The Art climate in Utah is changing” page 8S, Deseret News, August 11, 1979 [Voris Gallery]

“Symphony Ball Art Auction Features Prominent Artists” page 16, Daily Herald, Provo, Utah, Friday, February 25, 1977 [teaching]

“Art” page 37, The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday, November 2, 1958 [Air Force, New England, South Carolina]

“Literary Club Sections Set Meets, Luncheons” page S5, Deseret News, Sunday, November 11, 1951 [etching as a medium]

Charice Taylor and Ann Floor, University of Utah Alumni Association (phone conversation – May 31, 2016 and email June 2, 2016) [degree and birthday]

Missoula Art Museum [collection]

Whitepages website [current address]

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Written and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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About  Harold Demont Olsen

Born:  1928 - Salt Lake City, Utah
Known for:  painting, illustration, drawing, etching, teaching