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Exhibitions by Swedish-American Artists at the Swedish Club of Chicago

Identifier: SAAGC/035
This collection contains articles, mailings, catalogs, and other material related to the Swedish American Art Exhibition. This collection also includes a list of artwork that includes artist name, title of artwork, medium, date it was cataloged in the Swedish American Art Exhibition catalog, and whether the image appeared in the catalog.


  • 1911 - 1982


Language of Materials

English and Swedish.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on the materials, and the collection is open to all members of the public. However, the researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright that may be involved in the use of this collection.


1.0 Linear Feet (2 containers)

Biographical / Historical

The first attempt to collect works of Swedish‑American artists was made around 1900 in Lindsborg, Kansas where an exhibition of their works was held at Bethany College with works of American artists. In 1905 a Swedish‑American Art Association was formed in Chicago and held an exhibition which had limited success; the association soon folded. In 1911, however, the first annual exhibition of Swedish‑American art was held at The Swedish Club of Chicago. The Swedish Club News of February 25, 1911 announced that: "Next Saturday evening, March 11, at 8 o'clock, the greatest, most complete, and most comprehensive exhibition of the works of Swedish‑American artists ever attempted will open at our clubhouse."

In the first show 101 works by 24 artists and 3 sculptors were listed as being on display. Included were three artists who were to become well‑known in the larger world of American art ‑‑ John Carlson, Olaf Grafström, and Birger Sandzen.

Fourteen exhibits were held between 1911 and 1926. Eight were held between 1927 and 1941. None were held during World War II (1942 through 1945). Exhibits were held annually in 1946, 1947, and 1948. In 1949 the exhibits were shown on a biannual basis through 1959. The last two exhibits, the 32nd and 33rd, were held in 1961 and 1964. Altogether thirty‑three exhibits were held over a period of fifty‑four years.

Exhibitions came from across the country, but the core of artists were Chicagoans. The vitality of that art colony is evident in the 1929 publication "Svenska Konstnärar" (Swedish Artists) written by and about Swedish-American artists in the Chicago area.


Arranged by publication and then chronologically.

Related Materials

Swedish Club of Chicago Records, 1910-1984 (SAAGC MSS #34)

Processing Information

Ted Roberg, March 25, 1988.
Funding to migrate and update this finding aid was provided by the Swedish Council of America through the 2019 grant "Improving and Expanding Access to the Swedish–American Archives of Greater Chicago."

Repository Details

Part of the Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago Repository

3225 W Foster Ave
Box 38
Chicago IL 60625 USA