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 Helmi Collander  (1881 - 1961)

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Lived/Active: Ohio / Finland      Known for: landscape and still life painting, some portraiture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Helmi Tollet Collander (1881-1961)

She was born in Vasa, Finland.  She was the adopted daughter of a well-to-do couple of Swedish extraction and educated at private schools in Finland.

She was a graduate of the Institute of Art in Helsinki.  Her close friend at the Art Institute was Loja Saarinen who proved to be an influence on her work.

She emigrated to Ashtabula, Ohio in 1910 with her husband, Paul Josef Collander, a physician who later became Vice-Consul of Finland in the Midwest.  She abandoned painting during the formative years of her son and daughter, Ned and Karin.

During the 1930's Mrs. Collander studied at the William Eastman Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1932 she had a one-woman show at the Grant Gallery in New York City.  The critic Henry McBride praised her work.  Mrs. Collander exhibited her paintings in Cleveland, Chicago, Narragansett, R.I.; at the Butler Institute in Youngstown, Ohio.

Her works are academic realistic, mostly landscapes and still-lives, although she did some portraiture.

A number of Mrs. Collander's paintings were auctioned at the Finnish Embassy in Washington D.C. during the 1939-40 war between Russia and Finland, proceeds used to aid victims of the conflict.

Mrs. Collander also wove  and made silver and copper jewelry.  Some of the designs used in making this jewelry were adaptations of relics or kalevas taken from the graves of Vikings in Finland.

Mrs. Collander was listed in Who's Who In American Art.  Her paintings are in the collection of prominent Ohioans.

Information provided by Jeffrey Burchard of Burchard Galleries.

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