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 Oskar J. W. Hansen  (1892 - 1971)

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Lived/Active: California/Virginia/Arizona / Norway      Known for: monumental figure sculpture

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Oscar J.W. Hansen is primarily known as Oskar J. W. Hansen

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Oskar Hansen is best known as a sculptor, but also did extensive writing on theology, astronomy and the arts.  He was born in Norway, when it was a dual kingdom with Sweden, and his parents were Oskar II and Josephine Maximiliana Hansen.

Before coming to America in 1910, Oskar Hansen III went to sea as a cabin boy, traveling around the world five times as a merchant seaman for Norway.  He also joined the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, attaining the rank of General of Brigade.  In America, he served in the U.S. Army earning the rank of Major.

When he left the Army, Hansen settled near Charlottesville, Virginia, and devoted much time to sculpting, working in bronze, marble and wood.   

Hansen was especially well-known in the Southwest where in 1935, he completed a commission to sculpt nearly 40 colossal figures including the large eagle for Boulder Dam in Arizona.  He also did work in California and Nevada.  He is mentioned as having toured the Arizona desert with painter John Hilton in 1939.

He was educated at Port Arthur College in Texas, Evanston Academy and, Northwestern University, both in Evanston, Illinois.

Sources:
Peggy and Harold Samuels, Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
http://www.freewarehof.org/hansen.html

Biography from Lake Forest Library:
A Norwegian artist, Oskar Hansen came to the United States in 1910. He studied at the divinity school at Northwestern University. As a seaman, he traveled around the world several times, and he also served in World War II. After the war, he sculpted bronze busts and a winged figure for Rand Tower in Minneapolis, and he contributed sculpture for Boulder Dam. In his later life, he lived at Pantops, Virginia, which was formerly part of the property of Monticello near Charlottesville.

Credit:
Cynthia Infantino, "Lake Forest Library Art, An Aesthetic Legacy"
"Oskar J.W. Hansen" report #2506, The National Archives of the United States.

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