Gallery Artists > Emil Carlsen Biography :

Emil Carlsen (1848 - 1932)  Artworks >>

Emil Carlsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on Oct. 19, 1853. Carlsen studied architecture at the Danish Royal Academy. After immigrating to Chicago in 1872, he worked as an architectural draftsman and as an assistant to painter Laurits B. Holst. During the 1870s he spent six months in Paris as a pupil of Vallon. Returning to Chicago, he taught at the newly formed school which is now the AIC. Carlsen returned to Paris during 1884-86 and began specializing in still lifes. Due to the French influence, he painted brighter florals during this period. He had studios in Boston and NYC during 1886. The following year, at the request of Mary Curtis Richardson, he moved to San Francisco to succeed the late Virgil Williams as director of the School of Design. He shared a studio on Montgomery Street with Arthur Mathews, a close friend whom he had met in Paris, and taught at the local ASL. He was an active member of the Bohemian Club during his four years in San Francisco; however, his time in California was not successful due to limited sales and exhibition opportunities. Returning to New York in 1891 penniless, he taught regularly at the NAD and by 1896 had gained financial success and recognition. About 1905 he built a home and studio in Falls Village, CT, while maintaining a residence in NYC, and in 1906 was elected a member of the Nat'l Academy. He was for the most part self-taught, but his greatest influence came in Paris from studying the works of the 18th-century still-life specialist Chardin. He also painted vaporous, delicate marines, but it was his still lifes which made him one of America's most famous painters of copper kettles, gleaming bottles, fish, game, etc. The largest and most important exhibition of his work during his lifetime was held at the CGA in 1923. Carlsen died in NYC on Jan. 2, 1932. Source

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