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 Gustav Nathaniel (G.N.) Malm  (1869 - 1928)



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Lived/Active: Kansas/Missouri / Sweden      Known for: landscape painting, illustration

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Ad Code: 4
Gustav Nathaniel Malm
from Auction House Records.
Smokey Hill Kansas
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Svarttorp, Sweden, Jan. 20, 1869; died Lindsborg, 1928. Painter, specialized in Kansas landscape and altar paintings. Illustrator. Writer. Studied in Sweden.

Immigrated to the U.S. in 1889 and settled in Lindsborg in 1894 to remain there until his death in 1928. With his brother, formed Malm Bothers, a paint store in Lindsborg that supplied painting, murals, and stencils for new construction from Nebraska to Oklahoma.

Developed a distinctive decorative system that was adopted and promoted by the Acme White Lead and Color Works of Detroit, MI. Malm served as chief designer for the company.

Author and illustrator of Charli Johnson, Svensk-American (1909)— later translated as Charli Johnson, Swedish-American: a Realistic Picture of Everyday Life among Swedes in the West in the 1890s (1960?)-- a study of the Swedish emigrant.

Also wrote The Treatment of Walls and Ceilings: a Hand Book of Useful Information for Painters and Decorators (1915), Peace and Goodwill: a Christmas Story (1916), and 141 Härute;Verklighetsbild ur Svensk-Amerikanarnes Hvardagslif i Fyra Akter (1919) as well as numerous articles and short stories.
Sandzén Memorial Art Gallery

Smoky Hill Art Club; Salons of America; Society of Independent Artists.

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Reinbach; Sain, Lydia. Kansas Artists, compiled by Lydia Sain from 1932 to 1948. Typed Manuscript, 1948.; Newlin, Gertrude Dix (Development of Art in Kansas. Typed Manuscript, 1951); Fielding, Mantle. Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, with an Addendum containing Corrections and Additional Material on the Original Entries. Compiled by James F. Carr. New York: James F. Carr Publ., 1965., American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-1947 18/20/24/26; Haldeman- Julius Quarterly (Jan. 1927); Lindquist, Emory. G.N. Malm: a Swedish Immigrant’s Varied Career (Lindsborg: Smoky Valley Historical Publ., 1989); AskArt,, accessed Dec. 21, 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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Note from Donald Malm, whose great uncle was the artist, Gustav Malm.

A biography of Gustav Nathaniel Malm written in 1989 by Emory Lindquist, Ph.D. has been published by the Smoky Valley Historical Association, Lindsborg, Kansas. Its title is G. N. Malm: A Swedish Immigrant's Varied Career.

This is a substantial and professionally produced 225-page book written by
distinguished university scholars. Besides Dr. Lindquist, there are several collaborating authors who treat different aspects of G. N. Malm's life.

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
3rd McPherson Exhibition (Catalogue of the Annual Art Exhibit. McPherson: McPherson High School Press, 1911-35) 1913; 5th McPherson Exhibition (Catalogue of the Annual Art Exhibit. McPherson: McPherson High School Press, 1911-35) 1915; 6th McPherson Exhibition (Catalogue of the Annual Art Exhibit. McPherson: McPherson High School Press, 1911-35) 1916; 1st Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition, 1925; 15th McPherson Exhibition (Catalogue of the Annual Art Exhibit. McPherson: McPherson High School Press, 1911-35) 1925.
Smoky Hill Art Club; Salons of America; Society of Independent Artists.

Biography from Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery:
Gustaf Nathaniel Malm
(1869 -1928)

Gustaf Nathaniel Malm, known to many as G.N. Malm, was born in Svartorps Parish, Jönköping, Sweden, on January 20, 1869. He was the son of the Rev. and Mrs. P.A. Malm. As a young boy he showed promising talent. Malm enrolled at the college in Jönköping, but inadequate financial support made it necessary for him to discontinue his formal schooling. Young Malm then took up the trade of a painter. In 1893 he traveled to the United States and settled at Omaha, Nebraska. In January of the same year he married Matilda Wredberg and the following year, the young couple moved to Lindsborg.

In Lindsborg, Malm became known as an artist, author, and businessman, and was a key figure in promoting art and the Bethany College oratorio tradition. He was a fine painter and a famous author in Swedish American circles. His volumes, Charlie Johnson and Härute, are classics in Swedish American literature. He came to Lindsborg at the request of Dr. Carl A. Swenson, president of Bethany College in 1894 and soon identified himself fully with the college and the community.

Malm was secretary of the oratorio society as well as historian. He wrote extensively for newspapers and periodicals about music and art activities. Carl G. Lotave, Birger Sandzen and G. N .Malm were the founders of the annual Easter art exhibition, which today is known as The Midwest Art Exhibition held at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery. The three young men first organized the exhibition in 1899 in conjunction with the events and activities of the Messiah at the College.

He also won distinction for his painting craft, especially through various designs and stencils, which he developed along with Oscar Gunnarson, another local Lindsborg craftsman and artist.

G.N. Malm painted several church altar paintings. Salemsborg Church, Bethany Lutheran Church and the Methodist Church in Lindsborg all have an altar painting by the artist. In 1913 he became associated with the Acme Paint Company in Kansas City, but still maintained his Lindsborg residence.

A small man physically, he had great visions for Lindsborg and Bethany College and was an untiring worker in behalf of values that would distinguish the community as a center of culture. His untimely death in 1928, following an illness of a few months, was a great loss to the college and community.

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