Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt

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Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt
Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt c1900.jpg
Born(1878-03-13)March 13, 1878
Tullstorp, Sweden
DiedApril 21, 1955(1955-04-21) (aged 77)
Henderson, Texas, United States
EducationArt Institute of Chicago
Father and Son. Black and white reproduction from 1921 exhibition catalog.

Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt (April 13, 1878 – April 21, 1955) was an American artist who painted seascapes and depictions of New Mexico's indigenous culture.


He was born in Tullstorp, Malmö, Skåne County, Sweden the son of Nils and Ingrid (Nordfeldt) Olsson. The family immigrated to the United States in 1892. He first worked as a typesetter for the Swedish language newspaper, Det Rätta Hemlandet. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and studied with Frederick Richardson. He later apprenticed with Albert Herter in New York City, and studied in Paris at the Académie Julian. For several years he worked as an illustrator in Europe and North Africa for Harper's Magazine, where he also practiced etching.[1] He adopted his mother's surname to avoid confusion with the maritime artist (Alfred) Julius Olsson, whose work was then becoming popular in Europe and America.


During World War I he was in San Francisco where he registered for the draft. During the war, Nordfeldt was assigned to San Francisco to supervise the camouflage of merchant ships. After his service in World War I, he went to Santa Fe, New Mexico upon the suggestion of William Penhallow Henderson and ended up moving there.[2] Norfeldt was an early member of the Provincetown Printers art colony in Massachusetts.[3] In 1921, Nordfeldt was elected an associate member of the Taos Society of Artists.[4] He exhibited his work frequently with the Chicago Society of Etchers both before and after the war, showing between 1911-1918 and 1926-1929.[1] In 1940 he relocated to Lambertville, New Jersey.[5]

Throughout the 1930s, Nordfeldt taught at various schools including Utah State College, the Wichita Art Association and the Minneapolis School of Art. From 1941-43, he was a guest professor for the Department of Art of the University of Texas.[6]

Nordfeldt worked in diverse styles and media, including etchings and prints, portraiture, still lifes, and landscapes. Nordfeldt strove for a flattening of form and distortion of space, creating stylized images. He chose subjects laden with emotional power, especially nature and religious scenes.

Nordfeldt exhibited in numerous museums and galleries and received many significant awards and prizes in the course of his career. His works are held in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum, the New York Public Library, New Mexico Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Newberry Library, Two Red Roses Foundation, and the Weisman Art Museum, as well as many other venues. Biographical sketches for Nordfeldt are published in most standard art reference works. His papers are held in the Manuscript Collections of the Archives of American Art. He died in Henderson, Texas on April 21, 1955.[6]



  1. ^ a b Woodbury, Sara. "Giving a Good Impression: B.J.O. Nordfeldt's Inscribed Etchings," Art in Print, Vol. 7 No. 2 (July–August 2017).
  2. ^ Coke, Van Deren (1972). Nordfeldt : The Painter. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p. 49.
  3. ^ "Provincetown Printers/A Woodcut Tradition". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  4. ^ White, Robert R. (1983). The Taos Society of Artists. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0826307132.
  5. ^ Falk, Peter (1999). Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975 400 Years of Artists in America. Madison, CT: Sound View Press. p. 2435. ISBN 0932087574.
  6. ^ a b "B.J.O. Nordfeldt Dies". The New York Times. April 22, 1955. Retrieved July 11, 2008.


  • Haugan, Reidar Rye. Prominent Artists and Exhibits of Their Work in Chicago (Chicago Norske Klub. Nordmanns-Forbundet, 24: 371—374,Volume 7, 1933)
  • Hunter, Sam. B.J.O. Nordfeldt: An American Expressionist (1984)
  • Swanson, Mary T. The Immigrant Molds the Image: the Life of B.J.O. Nordfeldt (Swedish American Historical Quarterly. Vol. XLII. April 1991. pp. 69–89)
  • Crump, Robert L. Minnesota Prints and Printmakers, 1900-1945 (Minneapolis: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2009)
  • Mellby, Julie. 'The Drypoints of B.J.O. Nordfeldt', Print Quarterly. Vol. XXXIII. No. 1. March 2017. pp. 42–52

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