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Andrew Gunderson PASTEL ARTIST 1888 1964

Replies: 18

Re: Andrew Gunderson PASTEL ARTIST 1888 1964

Posted: 23 Nov 2002 5:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
The artist is Andrew Severin Gunderson (Andy), who is my grandfather.

He was born June 16, 1888, In Wallingford, Iowa, and died September 4, 1964, in Monee, Illinois, where he had lived for most of his adult life. He married Ada Waldo (born December 5, 1891, in Lamar, Colorado; died March 20, 1965, in Monee, Illinois) on October 12, 1910. His father and mother were both of Norwegian descent.

He had minimal formal schooling, and was completely self-taught in art. He was a professional artist in Chicago at age 15, and had his own studio at age 18. He also had an art store in Chicago (the A. Gunderson Art Company). In 1915, he moved to Monee, Illinois, a small farming town south of Chicago, where he set up a studio in his home. He retired in the late 1950s, although he never stopped completely. He intentionally priced his pictures low because he thought everyone needed beauty in their lives.

For many years, he sold pictures through the Mages (later Vilas-Mages) framing house catalog, making original pictures from the same scene. In later years, he would draw the same scene in any requested size. Although the scene is always the same, the proportions of each picture are perfect.

Andy did not find either the colors or the texture of commercial pastels to be adequate, so he made his own. He mixed the colors himself, and created the pastels, which are softer than commercial pastels; the formula is only known to members of his immediate family. He also coated thin paperboard with a paste and grit mixture to produce the right texture.

Most of Andy’s pictures are landscapes; there are some seascapes and still life. These pictures are not of places that actually exist, but were drawn from his imagination. There is almost always water in these pictures, and trees (often white birch), and quite often a dirt road. There is also a feeling of serenity in his work, which is hard to describe.

Man older pictures are signed "A GUNDERSON"; later pictures are signed "GUNDERSON", although sometimes it looks like "Gundarson". There are no unsigned pastels by Andy, since he always signed the picture when it was finished. I can remember drawing pictures on his back porch when I was very young; Andy would not look at it until it was signed. If it wasn’t signed, it either wasn’t finished, or it wasn’t art.

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
sheldon9 10 Jul 2002 1:28PM GMT 
joyce fuller 23 Nov 2002 12:18AM GMT 
gail rhode sheldon 23 Nov 2002 1:44AM GMT 
datagoddess 24 Nov 2002 12:01AM GMT 
TAMMY 16 Dec 2002 10:42PM GMT 
Gidget298 22 Mar 2003 8:18PM GMT 
Gidget298 22 Mar 2003 8:21PM GMT 
lbest131 22 Jun 2007 6:51PM GMT 
hotpepperdue 22 Jun 2007 9:23PM GMT 
cheby1 11 Jul 2009 5:25AM GMT 
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