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 Hannah Swensson  (1866 - 1945)

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Lived/Active: Kansas/Illinois      Known for: painter, lithographer, woodcut

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Hannah Swensson
An example of work by Hannah Swensson
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Karen Swensson Luisana, great grand daughter of the artist, October 2003.

Hannah Swensson was born Hannah Olson on March 25th 1866 in St. Charles Illinois, and was one of 18 children.

After her mother's death in 1871, she entered the Augustana orphanage at Andover, Illinois and was nurtured in the arts by Emmy Carlsson Evald.

She attended Bethany College for three years in Lindsborg, Kansas, which was founded by my great- uncle,Carl Swensson. She married his brother,Luther, in 1888 and had five sons,one being my grandfather,Earl Swensson.

She taught art at Bethany College from 1891-92, and later studied under Birger Sandzen, professor emeritus at Bethany who was called "The American Van Gogh". He founded the Prairie Printmakers Society.

Hannah worked in oil primarily, but like Sandzen, also did lithographs, woodcuts, and charcoal drawings.

She had a daughter, Helga, born in 1893 and died in 1910. Hannah was the main bread winner in their household, for her husband developed crippling arthritis. She was able to sell some of her art, but gave most of it away.

From 1928-1925 she was a member of the Kansas State Board of Movie Censors.

She was quite a talented, strong, remarkable woman.

Hannah Swensson died in Mc Pherson, Kansas on July 6th, 1945.

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born St. Charles, IL, Mar. 25, 1866; died McPherson, July 6, 1945. Painter. Teacher. Printmaker. Attended Bethany College, Lindsborg for three years and married Luther Swensson, brother of the founder of the college. Employed as an instructor in art at Bethany College, Lindsborg, 1891-92.
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
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.

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