Leon Lundmark (1875 – 1942) was born in Mörlund, Kalmar County, Sweden on May 28, 1875, the illegitimate son of Countess Hanna von Til and S. A. Johnson. He was educated in Stockholm in the public schools, at the Technical School and at the Stockholm Fine Art Academy with Zillen, Swenson and Baugh.
After leaving Sweden in 1906, Lundmark settled in Pullman, Illinois where he worked in the Decoration Department of the Pullman shops. His spare time was spent painting scenes of the Lake Michigan shore. Lundmark participated in local exhibitions and by 1921 he had a painting accepted for inclusion in the annual juried exhibitions of the Art Institute of Chicago. He had a total of six paintings selected for inclusion from 1921 through 1924. It was because of the 1921 AIC exhibition that Lundmark was discovered by J. W. Young Art Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue. Mr. Young was so impressed by the painting that Lundmark exhibited in 1921 that he rushed to Lundmark’s south side apartment to meet the artist. This led to a long relationship between the artist and gallery which resulted in ninety-five paintings sold in the next three years as well as a lengthy, illustrated biography of the artist, entitled The Rise of Lundmark, Marine Painter, which Young published in 1924.
During the 1920’s Lundmark served as director of the Scandinavian-American Art Association in Chicago. He took part in the Swedish-American Exhibition of 1923 in Gothenburg, Sweden. He also participated in the Swedish Art Exhibition in Chicago in 1923 where he earned a prize and he was the first prize winner in Philadelphia in 1925.
In 1937 Lundmark moved to California where he settled in Altadena, establishing a studio-home at 2628 Highland Street. He exhibited with the California Art Club in 1937 and 1938; he was represented as well in an exhibition at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1939. Lundmark died in Altadena on May 2, 1942 at the age of 66. He was survived by his wife, Edith.
Lundmark’s subject matter was invariably seascapes and coastal scenes. His subjects included coastal scenes from his native Sweden, views of the ocean painted from the decks of ships at sea, scenes of the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior shoreline, costal scenes painted at Cape Elizabeth, Maine and coastal scenes of the Pacific Ocean. During his lifetime Lundmark’s paintings were exhibited in sixty-one American cities and twelve European and Asiatic countries.
A number of years after the death of the artist several memorial exhibitions were held to make available those paintings remaining in the estate. A label was affixed to each painting which contained the title, size, price, catalogue number of the painting and the following memorial to the artist:
1872 (sic.) – Leon Lundmark, Marine Painter – 1942
Famous for his interpretations of the sea in all its
moods: mighty, vicious, or placidly tranquil.
His career began in Sweden where he was born. Still
young he came to America to continue his work, painted
the sea from every aspect, from East to West. Represented in galleries all over the world, many in this
country. His last five years he resided at Altadena,
Calif., painting as prolifically as ever. Some of his best
works are from these years of his life.
Work Available For Sale