Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Svend Svendsen

 (1864 - 1945)
Svend Rasmussen Svendsen was active/lived in Illinois / Norway.  Svend Svendsen is known for snowscene, landscape and coastal view painting.

Svend Svendsen

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Svend Svendsen
Impressionist painter Svend R. Svendsen was born in Christiania, Norway in 1864. He studied art at the Academie Delecluse in Paris in the 1890s. Around 1894, he moved to Chicago, and he exhibited in the Art Institute of Chicago's Annuals from 1895 1909, 1915 and in 1920. In 1897, he exhibited his work at the Nashville Exposition, and at the Pan American Fine Arts Exposition in Buffalo, NY in 1898 1900, 1902.

Svendsen painted both still life, as well as landscape and used oil, pastel and watercolor. In the 1920s, his work was represented by the Milch Gallery in New York City. Svend Svendsen died in 1945 in Chicago, Illinois.

Submitted by Jane Jacob, appraiser of fine art, Oak Park, Illinois

Her sources are:

William Gerdts, The Friedman Collection: Artists of Chicago, Spanierman Gallery, LLC, NY, 2002

Loy and Honig, Catalog of the Collection Union League Club of Chicago, One Hundred Years:1887 - 1987

Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Svend Svendsen
Mr. Svendsen was born in Christiania, Norway on March 19, 1864. He made his way to Chicago to study at the Art Institute of Chicago. He exhibited in Chicago two years after the Columbian Expo, 1895, and won a prize. He also exhibited in the Nashville Expo, 1897. He is known for his landscapes, especially evening snow scenes.

Roughton Galleries, Dallas, Texas
Courtesy to AskART from Brian Roughton

Biography from Fine Arts Collection, Luther College
Svend Rasmussen Svendsen was born March 21, 1864, in Nittedal, Norway, son of Rasmus and Marie Svendsen. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to Oslo. He received his early schooling in Norway, although left school at the age of twelve to work. In 1881, he emigrated to America, settling in Chicago, IL. In 1890, he married May Isabel Newton with whom he had five children. Svendsen was erroneously reported to have died in 1930 and short obituaries for him appeared in various publications. He was known to have had a decline in his career due to alcoholism and other difficulties, as one of these obituaries pointed out. He actually died in Chicago, September 6, 1945.

Svensen is considered by some accounts to be a self-taught painter who was known to have enjoyed visiting the National Gallery as well as Blomquist's gallery, both in Oslo, before he emigrated. He also studied with Fritz Thaulow, a well-known city and landscape painter, in Norway and at the Académie Delécluse in Paris in 1896 with Edward F. Ertz. He is known especially for his rural scenes, marine views, and snow scenes of Norway. His paintings were purchased by a number of Norwegian and American private collectors including Joseph Jefferson, Edward B. Butler and Clarence Darrow. Works by Svensen continue to be actively sold through contemporary art auctions.

Svendsen exhibited frequently at the Chicago Art Institute between 1895 and 1920, showing oil and watercolor paintings as well as pastels. He won the Young Fortnightly prize in 1895 awarded by the Chicago Art Institute. He also received an honorable mention for one of his works at the Nashville Exposition of 1897 and a bronze medal at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904.

He had one-man exhibitions at the W. Scott Thurber Galleries in Chicago between 1897 and 1903. He also exhibited at the National Academy of Design annual in 1902 and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts annual, 1898-1900 and 1902. In 1913, his name appeared on the register of the Chicago art dealer O.R. Kellogg. He is recorded to have exhibited at the Chicago Norske Klub in 1920. One of his paintings was shown at the Norse-American Centennial Art Exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair in 1925. He was also included in the exhibition, "Scandinavian Paintings in Northfield" in 1980. Two of his paintings were in the exhibit, "The Divided Heart: Scandinavian Immigrant Artists, 1850-1950," shown at the University of Minnesota in 1982. Works by Svendsen were also shown at the "Norway in America" exhibition in Norway in 1989 and in the exhibit, "The Friedman Collection: Artists of Chicago," in spring 2002 held at the Spanierman Gallery in Chicago.

The painting by Svensen in the Fine Arts Collection is an oil on canvas entitled, Winter Landscape, which is undated. It was donated to Luther College in 1941 by the family of Nils Remmen. It has been added to the Inventory of American Paintings maintained by the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.

Strand, A.E. A History of the Norwegians of Illinois. Chicago, IL: John Anderson Publishing Co., 1905; Norway in America. Decorah, IA: Vesterheim, 1989;

Gerdts, William H. The Friedman Collection: Artists of Chicago. New York, NY: Spanierman Gallery, 2002;,htm

Written and submitted by Jane Kemp
Professor; Circulation-Special Collections Librarian
Supervisor, Fine Arts Collection (
Luther College
Decorah, IA 52101

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

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday

About  Svend Svendsen

Born:  1864 - Christiana, Norway
Died:   1945 - Chicago, Illinois
Known for:  snowscene, landscape and coastal view painting