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 Martin Borgord  (1869 - 1935)

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Lived/Active: California/New York / Holland/Norway      Known for: landscape, portrait, still life and marine painting

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Ad Code: 3
Martin Borgord 1916 Old Lyme
Sun in Old Lyme, 1916
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Martin Borgord was a painter of landscapes, portraits, still lives and marine views, as well as a sculptor at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  His paintings depict a  kind of realism which uses a very accurate reproduction of the painted subject.  In 1916 and 1918, he worked and exhibited at Old Lyme, Connecticut with his studio behind the Florence Griswold House.

Borgord was born in Norway, the son of Petter Klemethaugen and Johan Oudensdotter Vasrus. Not long after his son's birth, Klemethaugen bought a large farm called Borgord.  As often the case at the time, the family became known under the name of the estate.  His parents passed away when he was quite young, and Martin was raised by an aunt and uncle in Oslo.  

Having heard remarkable stories from friends about the opportunities in the United States, Borgord, who wanted to become an artist, left Norway for the U.S. at age fifteen.  In Pittsburgh he met painter William Henry Singer, son of a wealthy steel merchant, who later became a lifelong friend.

He also studied in Paris with Jean-Paul Laurens and William Merritt Chase, and by 1899, he was showing his work at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City.  In 1901, he went with Singer and Singer's wife Anne to Laren, Holland, where he lived and had a studio at the Singer's villa, called "De Swans". He earned a medal at the Salon Exhibition of 1905 in Paris, France, but returned to Pittsburgh around 1906.  There he became manager of the Art School of the Carnegie Institute and the Allegheny School of Painting.

Borgord exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York in 1913 and 1919.

Traveling between the U.S. and Europe,  he returned to Laren in 1911, to the house of the Singer family. In 1916 and 1918, the friends traveled and worked in Norway and the United States.  In 1919, he visited Norway again, but later returned to the U.S.

From 1921 through 1928 he resided at the Mission Inn in the Riverside, California  area, and died March 25, 1935 in Riverside.  Martin Borgord is buried at the St. Jan Cemetery in Laren, Holland.

Sources:
Connecticut and American Impressionism, The William Benton Museum of Art, Introduction by Harold Spencer, Schwarz-Philadelphia
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
De Valk Lexicon

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Martin Borgord (Borgard) was born in Gausdal, Norway on Feb. 8, 1869. He studied in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens and in NYC with William M. Chase.  He died in Riverside, CA on March 25, 1935.

Member: Salmagundi Club (NYC); American AA of Paris. Exh: Paris Salon, 1905 (gold medal).

Works Held: National Academy of Design (New York City); Luxembourg Museum (Paris); Carnegie Inst. (Pittsburgh).
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1938 (obit).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Gausdal, Norway on Feb. 8, 1869.  Borgord studied in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens and in NYC with William M. Chase.  He died in Riverside, CA on March 25, 1935.

Member: Salmagundi Club (NYC); American AA of Paris.

Exh: Paris Salon, 1905 (gold medal).

In: NAD; Luxembourg Museum (Paris); Carnegie Inst. (Pittsburgh).
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1938 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Roughton Galleries,Inc:
Martin Borgord
(1869-1935)

Martin Borgord was born Feb. 8, 1869 in Guasdal, Norway and died March 25, 1935 in Riverside, California.  At the young age of 16, Borgord was a resident of San Francisco and enrolled to study with Virgil Macey Williams (1830- 1886) at the San Francisco Art Association’s School of Design.

With an interest in both painting and sculpture, Borgord traveled to Paris.  He was accepted to study at the Julian Academie under Jean-Paul Laurens and at the École des Beaux-Arts Academie with sculptor Charles Raoul Verlet.

In 1896, Martin Borgord returned to New York City and enrolled at the newly opened Chase School of Art (later renamed the New York School of Art) with William Merritt Chase.  Although virtually unknown today, Borgard was recognized in both the United States and Europe as a prominent painter and sculptor.  By 1899 the influential art dealer William Macbeth, who was devoted to the cause of promoting American art, was representing Borgord in New York.

In 1900, Martin Borgord traveled to Pittsburgh to attend a painting exhibition for friend and fellow artist William Henry Singer (the son of steel magnate William Singer), whom he had met in Paris at the Julian Academie.  Andrew Carnegie, who had taken a liking to his work, sponsored the exhibition.

In the late 19th century, it was not unusual for the city dwellers with means in Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, to seek refuge during the dry summer months in the countryside of the Netherlands.  The yearning for the open air also affected artists who were under the influence of the impressionists in Paris and those similarly minded artists of the Haagse School of The Hague.  With a legacy from his father, Singer, his young wife and Borgord set out for Laren from Pittsburgh via Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine.  Borgord and Steel shared a studio in Laren and were hosts during this period to a great number of American artist, including Henry Ward Ranger, William Henry Howe, Amy Cross, Charles Gruppe, Walter Castle Keith and Joseph Raphael.

Borgord returned to the United States to assume the directorships both of the Art School of the Carnegie Institute and the Allegheny (Pennsylvania) School of Painting but continued to maintain a part-time studio in Holland.

At the 1905 Paris Salon, Borgord was honored with a gold medal and, years later in 1924, with a one-man exhibition of his paintings and sculptures at the Galerie de Marsan.  He exhibited at New York's National Academy of Design in 1913 and again in 1919.

His membership affiliations also reflect the international stamp of the man, for he belonged not only to New York's exclusive Salmagundi Club but also to the St. Lucas Society in Amsterdam, the Allied Art Association, and the American Art Association of Paris.

As painter of landscapes, portraits, still lives, and marines, Borgord was represented by two Dutch scenes in the Lyme group exhibition of 1916.  He also exhibited with the group 1918.  Fellow artists, Emil Carlsen and Henry Ward Ranger influenced him to spend several weeks in Old Lyme during the height of the laurel season in the summer of 1916, and he worked in a studio behind Florence Griswold's house.

A writer for the Hartford Courant interviewed him then and described one of the canvases he saw as "a brilliant colorful impression of a lady standing amidst the laurel bed."  The artist explained his most recent painting interests to the reporter: "I formerly worked for effects of dark and light; now I paint entirely for unusual effects and harmonies of color."  (Had the Impressionism of Old Lyme influenced him or had he come to Old Lyme for support of his new ideas?)  The reviewer admired Borgord's work for what he termed its "consummate draughtsmanship, and great reserve, that rare ability to show absolute truth of relations within a restricted scale of values."

Museums:
Luxembourg Museum, Paris
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
National Academy of Design, New York
Washington County Museum Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland
Sweat Memorial Art Museum, Portland, Maine



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Martin Borgord is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Old Lyme Colony Painters

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