Journal of the American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, “The cover” by Janet M. Torpy, April 9, 2008, volume 299, number 14.
ECA Record Control Number: 9232
Record Level: Reference
Record Type: Magazine
Article Type: Work Mention
Key Title: The Cover
Sub Title: -none-
Author: Janet M. Torpy
Publisher: Journal of the American Medical Association
Publish Location: Chicago, IL
Date of Publication: April 9, 2008
Page: cover, volume 299, number 14
Description: 1 magazine article clipping
Carlsen, Emil, 1848-1932.
Number of copies: 1
Even during his lifetime, (Soren) Emil Carlsen (1853-1932) and his talent for landscape, seascape, and still life painting were recognized by the art world. In 1916, the often critical New York Times lauded his Saltus Gold Medal-winning marine painting shown at the National Academy of Design, stating that its clouds ”seem trance-like in their immobility. At least they express those moments in nature when all its Iluent elements apparently corne to pause and hang waiting for life to be resumed.” However, Carlsen’s life was not always filled with praise and case.
Having left his native Denmark in 1872, Carlsen settled first in Chicago, where he was forced to seek gainful employment as an architect’s assistant. His talents for painting were not undiscovered in the Windy City, where he became the first instructor at the newly opened School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Greener pastures beckoned Carlsen and in 1875 he traveled to Paris. There he fell under the influence of the work of Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, a French artist active in the 1700s. Studying Chardin’s techniques and taking formal classes at the Academie Julian highlighted Carlsen’s first Parisian adventure. He returned to the City of Light in 1884, staying for two years and gleaning inspiration from the emerging French Impressionist art movement.
Between these Parisian sojourns Carlsen lived in New York, where he worked as an engraver and suffered through painful financial times. This culminated in an auction whose proceeds did not even cover his debt from the sale. Whether it was wanderlust or the promise of a stable job that drew him, in 1887 Carlsen crossed the continent and for two years took the directorship of the school of the San Francisco School of Design. San Francisco’s charms did not capture Carlsen’s heart, though: he moved back to New York in 1891 and assumed a teaching position at the National Academy of Design.
Landscape (cover) appeared in 1919, given birth in a New York filled with uncertainty. World War l, “The War to End All Wars,” had just ended with the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918. The influenza pandemic of 1918 had swept through Europe, the United States, and South America, leaving fear and death in its wake. Global travel, forced by the need for soldiers to fight in the trenches of France and Belgium, hastened the spread of the virulent influenza virus.
Urban realism, a movemenL spearheaded by Robert Henri, John Sloan, and the rest of The Eight, had shaken the art world in 1908. Soon showcased at the New York Armory Show in 1913, this griny realistic art form forever changed the sensibilities of an critics and the public alike. Carlsen’s brand of lmpressionism, along with that of his circle of friends (including John Henry Twachunan, Childe Hassam, and J. Alden Weir), brought a softer side to the American art of the early 20th century. Carlsen and these friends were among many artists and writers who gathered in Cos Cob, Connecticut. The Cos Cob Colony produced its own school (established by Twachtman) and was visited by numerous individuals eager to learn the new techniques.
The trees of Landscape stand tall and serene in Carlsen’s vision of a North American forest. Blended gracefully into his supple depiction of an orange color not often seen on the real forest floor, the trees appear to have no lower foliage. This gives the painting dimension and draws the viewer’s eye upward, as though searching for the tiny bits of blue sky that peek through the painting’s canvas, as does reallife sky, peering through a fluffy cloud cover. Near the center of the picture is a highlighted area, branches covered with needles or leaves that seem light and airy, floating out to catch the viewer’s attention, sea-green cotton balls of American lmpressionism. Carlsen’s peaceful depiction of natural landscape seems soothing, restful—the vertical nature of the tree trunks gives soft structure to a painting that calms like an afternoon spent outdoors.
During Carlsen’s productive post-war period, his young son Dines (1901-1966) was maklng a name for himself as a precocious painter of still lifes and landscapes. In 1929 the father and son held a joint exhibit at the Macbeth Galleries (where The Eight’s legendary show took place in 1908). Emil Carlsen favored life on the East Coast (New York City and Falls Vlllage, Connecticut) and died there in 1932, leaving paintings and the works of his many students as evidence of his talents.
Janet M. Torpy, MD”
WORKS BY EMIL CARLSEN
Digital-born Document Number:
Digital Document Provenance:
Original compiled and researched document by the Emil Carlsen Archives, 266 West 21st Street, Suite 4E, New York, NY 10011.
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The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to U.S. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death. In other countries, legislation may differ.
Record Birth Date:
August 30, 2014
March 19, 2017