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 Lea (Lundgren) Ahlborn  (1826 - 1897)

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Lived/Active: Sweden      Known for: printmaking, medalist

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Lea Ahlborn Lundgren is primarily known as Lea (Lundgren) Ahlborn

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Lea Lundgren Ahlborn was a famous Swedish artist. She was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and the first woman to be appointed Royal Printmaker. The position of Royal Printmaker was public office, and thereby also made her the first female official in Sweden.

As the child of printmaker Ludvig Lundgren, Lea Fredrika Ahlborn early decided to follow him in his profession. In 1849, she, as well as Amalia Lindegren and Agnes Börjesson, became one of the four women who were given permission to study art at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts.

In 1851, she made a study-trip to Paris with her teacher Carl Gustaf Qvarnström (1810–1867) and her brother Pehr Henrik, where she worked with the sculptor Toussaint, the printmaker Barre and her maternal uncle, the medal designer Johan Salmson.

In 1853, she returned to Sweden; the same yer, her father died, and she functioned as Royal Printmaker until the return of her brother, who was appointed to take over their father's position, but her brother died in Paris. In 1855, she was appointed Royal Printmaker and elected as a member in the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts.

She kept herself updated in everything regarding her work, and was given assignments from the Swedish Academy, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Academy Pro Patriaa and by Empress Eugenie of France. She made the medal-portraits to the celebration of the anniversary of the wedding of the King and Queen, and she was hired by the United States government to make the medal of George Washington at the centenary (hundred years anniversary) of the end of the War of Independence in 1883, and to the celebration of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America in 1892.  In 1892, she was given the medal Illis Quorum by King Oscar II of Sweden.

Her sister, Carolina Weidenhayn, (1822–1902), became the first professional female xylographer, who after studies in Paris 1858–1867, became an instructor (1859–1881) at the technical school Tekniska Skolan (now Konstfack or University College of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm, Sweden.

Lea Ahlborn married the artist Carl Ahlborn and had several children.


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