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 Carl Anderson Hallsthammar  (1894 - 1977)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/New York/California / Sweden      Known for: wood figure sculpture, painting, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following text from the Svenska Tribunen-Nybeter, January 20, 1932, was published by the Foreign Language Press Survey in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Projects Administration of Illinois:  

The biggest news in Swedish-American art circles here is Carl Hallsthammar's latest success. As our readers know, be is noted for his carvings in wood. He has just been awarded first prize at an exhibit held in the art gallery of New Britain, Connecticut, in which some two thousand artists took part. The prize amounted to five hundred dollars.

Hallsthammar and the painter, Thomas Hall, are taking part in the exhibit which is now being held in the quarters of the Chicago Gallery Association, 220 North Michigan Avenue. This exhibit is attracting much attention among art lovers, which in our opinion is well deserved. We visited the Gallery last week.

Hall is exhibiting about a dozen aquarelles and three oil paintings. Some of the former are excellent, but others show distinctly the influence of the ultra modern school, and we do not think that style suits the artist at all. We were more interested in his oil paintings. His flowers especially interested us and they are among the finest we have seen from his hand.

Hallsthammar's group of carvings is quite large and contains some pieces that have been shown before. All in all, it is the most interesting collection of his work that we have ever seen. Life and power are embodied in his wooden figures, and one gets the impression that each one of them has a story of its own.

Look for instance, at those veterans of the Civil War. How alive they are! One can almost hear them talk about the battles they were in. And the banquet table with the after dinner speaker! And the moonshiner trying to outsmart the revenue man! We can see why Hallsthammar took first prize at the Connecticut exhibit. He is a true master in his field, a master whom we will see and hear more of in the future.

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Carl Hallsthammar   (1894 - 1977  )

Born in Tibble, Hallsthahammaar, Vastmanland, Sweden, he studied summers with Anders Zorn in Mora. He immigrated to Chicago in June of 1923 where he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was awarded the Logan Medal for sculpture in 1937 at the Art Institute. His sculpture is in the genre of the Doderhultaren. He taught privately at his own studio, the Hallsthammar Academy in Hartford. 

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Historian and Researcher

Mary Towley Swanson.  Tangled Web: Swedish Immigrant Artists’ Patronage Systems, 1880-1940.  2004.

Biography from Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery:
Carl Anderson Hallsthammar

Carl Hallsthammar was born June 24, 1897 in Vesteras, Vastmanland, Province, Sweden. His father was a farmer and he received his education in the schools of Vasteras. A desire to carve as a means of artistic expression had always been his craving, and at the early age of twelve he began with mallet and chisel to create his first work.

Carl studied carving under Gunnar Pers. In Mora, Dalarna, he spent two years with Anders Zorn and learned to model in clay, at the same time continuing his woodcarving art.

In 1924 he immigrated to America, settling at Jamestown, New York. He later moved to Chicago. His carvings received awards at exhibits held by the Swedish Club of Chicago. He also exhibited at the Anderson Art Gallery, New York City, as well as the Brooklyn Museum.

His carving has an honest and rugged regard for and treatment of wood that his carved from a solid block. His figures are just plain folks, transfigured by the sculptor’s sympathy and sometimes sense of humor.

The subjects of Mr. Hallshammar’s work cover a large range of American life. He traveled extensively and finds his subjects among Indians, cowboys, sports, and everyday life.

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