Sandgren Season

The first in quite a string of events this summer featuring the work of Corvallis painter/print-maker Nelson Sandgren happened last Saturday.  In conjunction with the exhibition opening June 14th at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Michael Parsons also is featuring the Work of Sandgren this month in his Portland gallery (716 SW Madison Street), and to kick off his show he asked curator/historian Roger Hull and painter/son of Nelson Sandgren Erik Sandgren to give “remarks.”  It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and many people turned up at the gallery, which got very stuffy…and NOT from the remarks!


Someone was looking over Roger Hull’s shoulder…


and it turned out to be Nelson himself…


Inside looking out…

inside out

Outside looking in…

outside in

LOTS of photos being taken…it’s a nice show…worth a look.

photo 2 photo 1

Meanwhile in Salem, the Nelson Sandgren show is up and open to the public starting Saturday the 14th and running until July 17th, with the “opening” on June 3rd.  In conjunction with this show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Roger Hull has written a monograph on Nelson’s work, “Nelson Sandgren: an Artist’s Life” and the books arrived at the museum this very morning!


Title page

R has undertaken a re-evaluation of Nelson’s vast body of work which extended over the course of 65 years (he died at age 88 in 2006, born in 1917).  Much of the work is beautiful and worth taking another look at…like this gorgeous painting of 1953, “Road of the Brave”, which is in the lobby…

Road of the Brave

this untitled farmyard watercolor of 1941….

Untitled farmyard, 1941

this lithograph of 1969, “Moratorium Day” (BTW a day I remember we marched in an anti-Viet Nam war protest in Chicago)

Moratorium Day

and “Evening Rider by the Sea” of 1997 (used for the cover of the book)…

Nelson Sandgren, 1997, "Evening Rider by the Sea"

R was writing this book and doing research for a forthcoming book on Louis Bunce this year, and noticed how often Bunce and Sandgren were in the same shows near the mid-century…they visited each others studios and had a dialog which you can sometimes see in the work (here Bunce on the left, Sandgren on the right).


The book is well illustrated and filled with wonderful photos of Nelson’s interesting life…here with his very good friend writer Bernard Malamud


and here in his studio with paintings in a style he developed at his artist-in-residence stint at Yaddo, as well as images of paintings, prints, water colors…

After Yaddo

Additionally the Karin Clarke Gallery in Eugene (760 Willamette Street) will be featuring oils, watercolors and lithographs from the Sandgren estate from June 1-25, with Erik giving remarks on Saturday June 11th.  On Sunday June 12th Roger Hull will be speaking at the Hallie Ford Museum at 2:00 about Nelson’s work, followed by Erik Sandgren talking about Nelson’s methods as a painter.  A final even will be on June 26th, a Sunday, when Hull and Sandgren will have a “conversation” in the gallery about Nelson and his work.  Better consider Nelson Sandgren this summer….



  1. Thank you for all the info. Nelson was an incredible man, and i am anxious to see this show…and get a copy of THE book!

  2. saturday here we come. can hardly wait to see this show and to read another of roger’s insight filled monographs. (btw, a handsome striped shirt on that husband of yours, bonnie.) that yaddo pic of sandgren peering out from behind a room full of up-ended canvases is hilarious as well as astounding. thanks for this preview post.

  3. Congratulations, Roger! Wish we could be there to celebrate with you. The work is beautiful. I know you’ve given it outstanding thought and care.

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