Emil Carlsen Book and Website
A Eight Year Labor of Love
While studying at The Harlem Studio of Art (New York) my teacher, Andrea J. Smith, introduced me to work of artist Emil Carlsen. She shared her passion for still life painting and Emil Carlsen with all her students. Back then, I had never heard of Carlsen; but, as soon as I saw my first image of the Danish-American’s work, I was hooked. I knew I needed to get a book on the artist immediately. But, two exhibition catalogs, one from the 1970s and another from 1999 were both out-of-print. I located a copy of the more recent publication and set about seeing if I could republish the book to share with other students of art – like myself. Unfortunately, the publisher had died and his estate was not interested in a reprint. I found myself wondering about the work that was not shown. After more research, I discovered an amazing array of landscapes, seascapes, and much more, beyond the initial still life that I was exposed to. I decided then, that I needed to find EVERY image of the artist’s work and share it other artist and art lovers – famous last words!
Eight years of research later, with help from the National Art Archives of the Smithsonian, the Frick Museum’s private library, Askart.com, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, many museums, countless auction houses, and what feels like several million other sources; I have amassed about 900+ images of the artist’s work – the largest anywhere in the world. I have cataloged about 1,200 pieces. It has been a long journey to track all of Carlsen’s paintings. Some museums have de-commissioned his work and they have been resold on the private auction and gallery markets. A large percent of the artist’s work are in private hands, making it even harder to track down and get proper images of the work. I myself was fortunate to acquire a oil sketch of Carlsen at auction.
After all the work and an essay from a Danish art historian loaned gratis for my book; I set out to find a publisher. No publisher would bite – apparently no one felt the artist was famous or commercial enough. I finally decided to self publish, but to show all the work I truly wanted, for art lovers everywhere, the two volume set would cost approximately $1,200 – a price out of most art student’s means. After spending further countless hours trying to secure all the rights to the images and deflated that I would have to cut the self published book to 230 pages of only the best to make it affordable, I decided not to sit on the images and essay any longer but share it all with the world on this website. This site is purely educational and hence, needs no image rights.
The site is organized into sections that are based on my book Emil Carlsen. I tried to group the work by subject and look even if they span the entire length of the artist’s career. The 25 page essay is presented as one long scroll, making it easy to print out and read at your leisure. I will keep adding all the facts about each painting that I have discovered throughout the next few months.
My hope is that you enjoy and delight in the images and essays I have collected. The main essay has been hand translated by myself (again a monumental task) from the original Danish into English. It took months and is still being refined. I have shared all that is complete and will keep working on refining it.
If you own any of the works, or have others that I had not turned up in my research (or found errors) please contact me below. I would really appreciate high resolution color photographs of all the known works so that I can share it with the world. If you prefer not to be named as the owner we can list it as “Private Collector”. I am still working to update the Smithsonian’s listings on the artist. If you own any of the 280+ original oil sketches that the artist used to create many of his finished studio works I would also love images of those. They change hands so fast in the secondary market that I have been hard pressed to locate them all.
Bill Indursky [firstname.lastname@example.org]
August 6, 2014
New York, NY