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 Olaf Moller  (1901 - 1985)

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Lived/Active: Idaho / Denmark      Known for: landscape, mural, portrait painting

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Ad Code: 4
Olaf Moller
from Auction House Records.
Impressionist Landscape
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Jerry F Brown of Woodland, Washington who found this information on a newspaper clipping taped on the back of a Moller painting they inherited.  There is a photo of Moller as part of the clipping.

There is no date on the newspaper article but given that Moller was 84 when he died and was born in 1903 he most likely would have died in 1987.

The following information is quoted from the Twin Falls Times Newspaper of Twin Falls Idaho in an article by Terry R. Hartley:

Olaf Moller, a moving force in landscape painting died Friday in a Boise (Idaho) nursing home at age 84. Moller's career spanned much of the 20th century and many will remember him as the artist who brought to canvas both Wyoming's Grand Tetons and Idaho's Hagerman Valley.

Over the years, Moller won numerous awards. His painting "Silver Leaf Poplar," was selected for the 1940 New York World's Fair. He also designed the murals for the Carnegie Public Library in Boise, while his paintings of the Tetons represented the West in the States of the Union Collection at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

His work has been exhibited in the Lillie Bliss Collection, New York City; Augustana College, Rock Island Illinois; The Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah; The University of Idaho (Moscow, Idaho); The Boise Gallery of Art, and in untold private collections.

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Moller's family moved to the U.S. while he was still an infant. The family traveled west from Brooklyn to Salt Lake City, then to Boise before settling in Rupert (Idaho). An uncle in Boise first kindled his interest in art. Using scraps of paper and pieces of broken pastel from his uncle's pastel set, Moller sketched his first landscape and thereafter, determined to become an artist.

His formal art education came during eight years of study from 1921 to 1929 when he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and during the summers he attended school at nearby Chester Springs. At the Academy he studied under N.C. Wyeth the painter.

In 1927 Moller received a scholarship to the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation at Oyster Bay, N.Y.It was there that he learned the craft of frame building, a hobby that eventually became an avocation.

During his school years he supported himself with various odd jobs including stagehand, chauffeur, and manager of a tea room.

After the stock market crash in 1929, Moller returned to Idaho and set up his studio at the family home between Rupert and Paul (Idaho), and supported himself during the Depression by conducting painting classes and by making custom frames.

With his Idaho studio as his base, the artist conducted yearly trips to many sections of the West, including Jackson Hole one of his favorite areas. Incorporating the Tetons into his paintings, Moller opened the first art gallery in Jackson Hole and maintained a studio/gallery there during the summer for many years.

Idaho's Hagerman Valley was another of Moller's favorites, which he usually depicted in the autumn. He was known to have also enjoyed painting the rich country of America's Northeast.

"He was probably the most prominent artist in this area," said Burley (Idaho) artist John Horejs. Horejs, who owns the Lightworks Gallery with his wife Elaine, featured Moller's works as a one-man show five years ago (1982). He said that more recently he was hoping to have another Moller exhibit...He remembers Moller as an elegant man who always wore a suit when working and was soft spoken and warm...
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Olaf Moller studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Daniel Garber, N.C. Wyeth, Arthur Carles, Henry Breckenridge, and Joseph Pearson. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy and in Utah and Idaho and was a member of the Rockport Art Association, the Rocky Mountain Art Association, and the Teton Art Association.

His work can be found at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois; the University of Idaho in Boise; the Twin Falls, Idaho high school; and the Columbian Club in Boise.

Source: Peter Hastings Falk (editor), Who Was Who in American Art

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