Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Brook with Cottonwoods

  • Artist:

    Sandzen, Birger

  • Artist Bio:

    American (born in Sweden) 1871–1954

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Linoleum cut

  • Dimensions:

    7 x 8 7/8 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Milburn

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

Born and educated in Sweden, Birger Sandzén, immigrated to the Swedish-American town of Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1894. Sandzén joined the faculty of Bethany College where he taught for more than 50 years. Talented and well-educated in both European academic traditions and avant-garde movements of the late 19th-century, Sandzén easily established himself as the leader and mentor of Kansas artists in the early 20th century.

Sandzén’s three years of study (1891-1893) under the direction of Anders Zorn in the latter’s independent studio in Stockholm introduced Sandzén to Impressionist techniques and theories and to the more expressionistic style of Vincent van Gogh. For a period of about six months in 1894 Sandzén’s mature style, achieved in the U.S. in the 1920s, reflected his personal synthesis of these influences.

If the mark of an Impressionist was a susceptibility to the “lure of light,” then Sandzén was surely an Impressionist at heart. He often declared his love for the “delicious light” of Kansas and the Southwest. As printmaker, Sandzén explored the same light-filled landscape subjects depicted in his paintings. Self-taught in the print media, Sandzén began producing lithographs and woodcuts in 1916. He later added linocuts and etching to his repertoire. Sandzén addressed each medium according to its particular expressive character, but always emphasized the dynamic quality of nature in expressionistic patterns of line or texture.