Sigvald Asbjørnsen

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Sigvald Asbjørnsen (August 20, 1867 – September 8, 1954) was a Norwegian-born American sculptor.[1]


Sigvald Asbjørnsen was born in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway. Asbjørnsen studied art with Mathias Skeibrok (1851–1896) and Julius Middelthun and under Brynjulf Bergslien. At the age of 16 he was awarded a stipend from King Oscar II to study at the Royal Academy in Oslo where he worked for five years.[2][3]


Sigvald Asbjørnsen emigrated to the United States in 1892, first working in Michigan where he received several important commissions for sculpture. He eventually moved to Chicago where he worked on the buildings for the World Columbian Exposition of 1893. The remainder of his professional career was spent in Chicago where he sculpted a number of public works which were sent to various localities in the United States. He also made medallions of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Henrik Ibsen and Edvard Grieg among others. Asbjørnsen exhibited sculptures at the Art Institute of Chicago between 1897 and 1921. He received the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1952 from Norway’s King Haakon VII.[4][5]

A collection of his work is at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. His sculptural work was shown at the University of Minnesota exhibit "The Divided Heart: Scandinavian Immigrant Artists, 1850–1950" in 1982.[6]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ Asbjornsen, Sigvald (Encyclopedia of Chicago)
  2. ^ Arne Brenna. "Sigvald Asbjørnsen, billedhugger". Norsk kunstnerleksikon. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ Jan Kokkin. "Mathias Skeibrok, billedhugger". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Sigvald Asbjørnsen". Emigranter over Kristiansand 1873–1930. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ Sigvald Asbjørnsen (Norsk-amerikanere på Verdensutstillingen i Chicago) [1] (Norwegian)
  6. ^ Sigvald Asbjørnsen (Luther College Fine Arts Collection)

Other sources[edit]

  • Strand, A.E. (1905) A History of the Norwegians in Illinois (Chicago, IL: John Anderson Publishing Co.)
  • Sundby-Hansen, Harry (1921) Norwegian Immigrant Contributions to America’s Making (New York, NY: International Press)
  • Haugan, Reidar Rye (1933) Prominent Artists and Exhibits of Their Work in Chicago (Chicago Norske Klub. Nordmanns-Forbundet, 24: 371–374,Volume 7)
  • Heitmann, Helen M. (1976) From Fjord to Prairie: Norwegian-Americans in the Midwest, 1825–1975 (Chicago, IL: Norwegian-American Immigration Anniversary Commission)

External links[edit]