Guide to the Jonas Olof Grafström Collection, 1984-1990  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Guide to the Jonas Olof Grafström Collection
1984-1990 (inclusive)
1 File (1 folder)
Collection Number
This collection contains two articles on Swedish-American artist, Olof Grafström, as well as two photographs of a painting, and correspondence.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
Access Restrictions

The collection is available for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Jonas Olof Grafström was born on 11 June 1855 in Attmar, Medelpad, Sweden. His father was C. P. Grafström, a judge for the district court. As a child, Grafström's artist talent was apparent. From 1875 to 1882 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm, graduating with other well-known artists such as Anders Zorn, Bruno Liljefors, Richard Berg, and Johan Tirén. After he graduated, Grafström perfected his landscapes by touring and painting Northern Sweden and Lapland. One of these paintings was purchased by King Oscar II of Sweden.

In 1886, Grafström immigrated to Portland, Oregon and began painting the Pacific Northwest. He won several art competitions during his early years in the United States and spent time living in Spokane, Washington, and San Francisco, California. He became known specifically for his altarpieces.

Grafström taught art at Bethany College in West Virginia from 1893 to 1897. Later in 1897, he became the head of the art department at Augustana College in Illinois. In addition to his courses and private lessons, Grafström painted several hundred pieces during his time at Augustana.

On 15 June 1904, Grafström married fellow painter, Anna Nelson. The couple had two children, Ruth and Katarina, both of whom became artists themselves. Grafström was the head of the art department at Augustana College until 1926, when he retired due to poor health. He returned to Sweden after his retirement and passed away in Stockholm on 30 March 1933.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection includes two articles on the life of artist, Jonas Olof Grafström. Both of the articles are by Brian Magnusson of Augustana College. Also included are a letter from an owner of an original Grafström painting of the ten thousand lakes of Minnesota as well as two photographs of the painting.

Magnusson, Brian, "Olof Grafström: An Immigrant Artist Portrays the Early Pacific Northwest, 1886-1890." The Swedish-American Historical Quaterly (1986): 42-59.

Kirn, Mary Em, and Sherry Case Maurer. 1984. Härute--out here: Swedish immigrant artists in Midwest America : an exhibition of works from Augustana College and the Quad Cities community. Rock Island, Ill: Augustana College Art Dept.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from (the collection) must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Jonas Olof Grafström Collection, SIEmss_133, Archives and Special Collections, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Grafström, Jonas Olof
  • Magnusson, Brian
  • Geographical Names :
  • Portland (Ore.)
  • Sweden
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Occupations :
  • Artists
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • From Kvikkjokk to the Mississippi: Glimpses into the Career of Olof Grafström--Artist, Immigrant and College Professor
  • Olof Grafström: An Immigrant Artist Portrays the Early Pacific Northwest, 1886-1890