Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Clouds and Rocks

  • Artist:

    Sandzen, Birger

  • Artist Bio:

    American (born in Sweden), 1871-1954

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Drypoint and retroussage

  • Dimensions:

    6 15/16 x 10 15/16 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Gift of George E. Vollmer, Clarence E. Vollmer Collection

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

As one of the first European-trained and avant-garde artist to settle in the Plains, Birger Sandzén exercised enormous influence upon the development of art in Kansas and in surrounding states. He was one of the first artists in the state to produce fine prints, and this endeavor, begun in 1913, helped to develop an audience for fine art in Kansas. Sandzén assisted in the 1913 organization of the Smoky Hill art Club. Each member received an original Sandzén print as a gift for his dollar membership fee. The artist exhibited and sold his prints at modest prices in Carl Smalley’s art shop in McPherson, Kansas. Smalley encouraged art and print appreciation further by publishing two books of reproductions of Sandzén’s lithographs, The Smoky Valley (1922) and In the Mountains (1925).

In 1930 Sandzén became one of the founding members of the influential Prairie Print Makers society, a group which raised Kansas artists’ production of fine prints to a high standard and placed their graphic works in prestigious national exhibitions.