Art Digest, New York, NY, “Carlsen Is Dead”, Volume 6, Number 8, January 15, 1932, page 2.
CARLSEN IS DEAD
Emil Carlsen died on Jan. 2 after a brief illness at his home in New York, at the age of 78. Although he was a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, most of Carlsen’s professional career was passes in this country, where he gained wide recognition for his still lifes, landscapes, and marines.
After a short study of architecture at The Royal Academy in Copenhagen, Carlsen came to American in 1873, when he was only 18?. On his arrival he became interested in painting. He made his home in Boston and lived there for 15 years, developing a technique of still life painting, for whcih he became famous.
Nearly every year for the first quarter this century he won a medal or a major prize at an American exhibition. Some of the prizes were as follows: Inness prize (Salmagundi Club), Shaw Purchase Prize (Society of American Artists), gold medal at St. Louis Exposition, 1904; Inness gold medal, 190? (National Academy of Design); Temple gold medal, 1912 (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts); Saltus gold medal, 1918 (National Acaedmy of Design); Carnegie Prize, 1912?, gold medal at the Sesquicentennial Exposition, 1926.
In 1920 and in 1930 Mr. Carlsen served on the jury of award of Carnegie Institute’s International. Carlsen was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Salmagundi Club, the Century Club and the Bohemia Club of San Francisco.
Elisabeth Luther Cary wrote of Carlsen in the New York Times: “Looking back over the paintings by this artist that year after year have brought distinction to the galleries in which they were shown, one thinks of the Danish attitude toward their potteries and porcelains, produced with a care and patience and fastidious zest for perfection that lead the painter to reject all but the most exquisite forms, the most perfect ?, to serve as a basis for design.
“He was a great painter. Through his consistent adherence to the mighty force of understatement, through his avoidance of all cheap methods of appeal or hurried use of devices to gain effects quickly, through the ? beauty of his surfaces, he was great, ? use the word in its simple sense of extra-ordinary in accomplishments, and he was very nearly unique among his contemporaries in his attention to each step of his work from the beginning to the end. His preparation of a canvas was in itself an art. He did one for J. Alden Weir, who found it so beautiful that he hung it on the wall as it was and could never bring himself to paint on it.”
“His draftsmanship,” said the New York Herald Tribune, “perhaps due to his early architectural training, was regarded as remarkable for precision and purity and he had the faculty of putting life into the surface of his pictures so that the texture of every object seemed to invite the test of touch.”