Belleville Post Office

Belleville Post Office


"Kansas Stream"



Birger Sandzen


Born in Bildsberg, Sweden, in 1871, he was the son of a Lutheran minister and received his art education in Europe, graduating in 1890 from the College of Skara in Sweden and then taking further study at the University of Lund. He was the pupil of Anders Zorn and studied painting at the Artists' League of Stockholm and then with Aman-Jean in Paris.

In 1894, he emigrated to Kansas where until 1945 he was professor at Bethany College and from then until his death, professor emeritus. Not only did he paint in the West, he amassed a personal collection of over 500 western paintings and drawings.

At Bethany College, he organized the first exhibition of Swedish-American art held at that Swedish institution. The exhibit included paintings by himself and his colleagues. He was also active in the Swedish-American Society in Chicago.

In 1916, he first went to Colorado and in the mid 1920s, taught some classes at the Broadmoor Hotel. He also taught at Denver College and at Utah State College. From 1918, he became a regular visitor to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, and in 1922, exhibited with the Taos Society of Artists in New York.

During the Depression, he was a W.P.A. artist and was the author of a book titled "With Brush and Pencil."