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 Olof Krans  (1838 - 1916)

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Lived/Active: Illinois / Sweden      Known for: naive genre, portrait, figure painting

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Olof Krans
Olof Krans
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Olof Olson in Silja, Sweden in 1838, in 1850, Olaf Krans came to Bishop Hill, a communal society in central Illinois of Swedish religious dissenters.  He worked as a farm hand and blacksmith.  The community floundered on religious and political differences, and he took the name of Krans joining the Civil War as a Union soldier.

He returned to Illinois as a photographer, house and stage-set painter and settled in Galva, setting up his studio in the basement of the Olson Block in Galva.  In the 1890s, he became a genre and portrait painter, and from 1896 to 1911, he did a documentary series on the Bishop Hill community, based on early photographs.  He presented these works to the community for its 50th anniversary celebration. He died in Altoona, Illinois.

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