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Birger Sandzen
The Temple of the Great Spirit (Colorado)



Inscribed in graphite lower margin: "To Anna Keener / April 1923" Original woodcut (nailcut) printed in 1922; only one edition printed. Temple of the Great Spirit is in the Garden of the Gods, Manitou, Colorado. Inscribed in pencil lower margin "To Anna Keener - April 1923". Keener was, at that time, a student of Sandzen and later became an accomplished artist. Housed in a custom frame with archival mat & glass; outer dimensions are 25.25 x 20.25 inches. Image measures 16 x 12 inches. Provenance: Estate of Anna E. Keener About the artist: Birger Sandzén was encouraged from an early age to pursue his interest in art. Sandzén’s formal education began at the Skara School in Skara, Sweden at the age of ten. At Skara, he studied with Olaf Erlandsson who introduced the young artist to oil painting. After graduating from Skara in 1890, Sandzén studied for a semester at Lund University in Lund, Sweden. The following year, he went to Stockholm intending to study at the Royal Academy. Due to a lack of vacancy, Sandzén instead studied with one of Sweden's best painters and etchers, Anders Zorn, as well as with Richard Bergh, and Per Hasselberg in what was later to become the Artists League. Early in 1894, Sandzén took a class taught by Aman-Jean, who introduced him to Pointillism. Sandzen used a Pointillist, or Tonalist, approach to painting in his work until around 1910. Sandzén learned about an opening on the faculty of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas and immediately applied. He was hired by the college and relocated to Kansas in the fall of 1894. In 1899 he was appointed principal art teacher and head of the Art Department. Sandzén held both positions until his retirement in 1946. Sandzén first visited the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in 1908 and began painting in the Colorado Springs area around 1916. The artist made his first trip to New Mexico in 1918 and was a frequent visitor to Santa Fe and Taos in the years that followed. Sandzén spent the summers of 1923-24 teaching at the Broadmoor Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado (presently the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center). He also taught at Chappell House (the forerunner to the Denver Art Museum), Utah State Agricultural College, Stephens College, the University of Michigan, and the Kansas City Art Institute. Though he traveled often, Sandzén continued to live in Lindsborg until his death in 1954. Expedited and International Shipping is available; please contact us for an estimate.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 25.25 in. x W 20.25 in. x D .75 in.

    H 64.14 cm x W 51.44 cm x D 1.91 cm

  • Gallery location
    Denver, CO
  • Reference number
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