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 Samuel Holmberg  (1885 - 1911)

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Lived/Active: Kansas/Oklahoma / Sweden      Known for: landscape painting, sculpture, teaching

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Fritz Samuel Holmberg is primarily known as Samuel Holmberg

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Vastergotland, Sweden, 1885; died Kansas, June 26, 1911 Samuel Holmberg was a painter and sculptor.  He moved with four brothers and one sister to Lindsborg in 1903 where he studied with Birger Sandzén.

He served as an assistant instructor in art from 1904-05 and an instructor in art from 1906-08 at Bethany College, Lindsborg.

He studied in Paris for eight months in 1908 before returning to Lindsborg and then accepting a teaching position at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

He produced a series of landscapes scenes but, as a severe critic of his own work, he destroyed much of it himself.
Sandzén Memorial Art Gallery; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Sandzén archives; AskArt,, accessed Dec. 20, 2005; Dawdy 3: Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Volume 3. Chicago: Swallow Press, 1985..
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

Biography from Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery:
Fritz Samuel Holmberg
(July 6, 1885- June 26, 1911)

Samuel Holmberg was born in Västergötland, Sweden. His parents were August Holmberg and Eva Ulrika Sundstrom Holmberg. He came to Lindsborg in 1903. He was the last of four brothers and one sister, John, Henry, Fred, Richard and Hilda to immigrate to the United States. All remained in America except Henry who returned to Sweden.

All five of the Holmberg brothers were janitors at the Main Building (Old Main) while attending Bethany College. Sam studied with Birger Sandzén until 1907, he then returned to study in Paris for eight months. He also spent time in Berlin and also traveled to his home in Sweden. In 1909 he returned to Lindsborg.

His brother Fred, a violinist who had studied theory with Dr. Hagbard Brase at Bethany, became head of the music department at the University of Oklahoma at Norman. Birger Sandzén suggested to Fred that art should be taught at Norman, and that there could be no better teacher than his own younger brother, Samuel.

Samuel taught at the University for two years. He became ill in 1911 while visiting friends in Lindsborg. Story has it that he developed a disease that turned his hair white and withered his body in a very short time. He passed away in Lindsborg on June 11, 1911.

Oscar Jacobson, who followed him at the University of Oklahoma and was a good friend, described him as "a soul of rare beauty, a refined aristocratic spirit; he was a real painter and a musician besides, playing his cello with far more than average talent."

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