Carl Oscar Borg

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Carl Oskar Borg (March 3, 1879 – May 8, 1947) was a Swedish born, American painter who was known for themes of the Southwestern United States.


Carl Oscar Borg was born into a poor family in Grinstad parish, Dalsland province, Sweden. Oscar Borg moved to London at age 15 to assist portrait and marine artist George Johansen. In 1901, he sailed for the United States. Borg taught art at the California Art Institute in Los Angeles and at the Santa Barbara School of the Arts. He became a protégé of American philanthropist and art patron Phoebe Hearst. She gave him the opportunity to return to Europe to study art.

Borg was influenced by the nature of the southwestern United States, especially the states of Arizona and New Mexico. He worked in various mediums including oil, watercolor, etchings, and woodblock. He was commissioned to paint posters for the railway company, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. His posters were put up on the company's sales offices and attracted attention. He was known for his dramatic paintings of the Grand Canyon.[1]

Borg was a founding member of the Painter's Club of Los Angeles and the California Art Club. He was one of the first art directors for a major movie studio in Hollywood. He worked with the production of silent films in the years 1925-1928. Examples of his art are on display at Brigham Young University, Harvard University, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Borg was married to Lily Borg Elmberg. He was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Academy of Arts, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salmagundi Club.

Selected works[edit]

  • The Great Southwest Etchings (1936)


Other sources[edit]

  • Widén, Albin Carl Oscar Borg; Ett Konstnarsode (Nordisk Rotogravyr. 1953)
  • Laird, Helen Carl Oscar Borg and the Magic Region: Artist of the American West (Peregrine Smith Books. 1986)
  • Schulz, Marlene R. Carl Oscar Borg: California Images (Santa Barbara Historical Society. 1990)
  • Cuba, Stanley L. Carl Oscar Borg, Chronicler of the Southwest (Western Art Digest. 1986)

External links[edit]