Ejnar Hansen, self-portrait in profile. Circa 1930, 18 x 22.
Born into poverty in Copenhagen, Denmark, Ejnar Hansen (1884-1965) was raised on a dairy farm. At age 14, he apprenticed to an interior decoration firm. He studied at the Royal Academy of Art and an admirer of Edvard Munch, became a part of a group called “The 13,” modernist painters who rebelled against academic painting and expressed great interest in Expressionism and Cubism.
In 1914, he arrived in Chicago and lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and then settled in 1925 in Pasadena, California, where he was promoted by the Stone Gallery in Monrovia. He was successful with portraiture, which he taught at numerous schools, and with figure, landscape, and occasional still life painting. “Plein air” painting trips, many with Maynard Dixon, included Taos, New Mexico, Utah, and Denmark.