Carlson, Edward W - portrait of a boy in uniform

This miniature portrait of a young boy is signed at the lower right; "E W Carlson 1925" and under that signed again "Edward W Carlson".

This appears to be for the artist Edward W Carlson (1883-?) who is recorded as a Chicago painter active in the 1920's and 1930's. However, his other work seems to have been landscapes, as an oil on board titled "The Siding" was offered for auction in 1998 with an estimate of $500-$700.

He has not previously been recorded as a painter of miniatures, although judging by this item, he was quite competent at painting portraits. In the 1910 census he was living with a Holmquist family in Chicago as a lodger and gave his occupation as artist. He was born in Illinois, although his parents were Swedish.

Carlson appears to have separated from his wife, as in the 1930 census when he was aged 47, he stated he was married and had first married at age 20. He was lodging in Chicago with a Marjorie Carlson aged 17, who was probably his daughter. He described himself as a commercial artist, but disclosed no assets, whereas other lodgers were disclosing assets as low as $40, and thus he was presumably badly affected by the Great Depression.

The sitter is unknown, but is wearing a uniform, perhaps from the Sea Cadets version of the Boy Scouts. 1235

1 comment:

Eurotraveler said...

March 2, 2009

Hello Don,

Edward Carlson was my grandfather's cousin. I can give you a little more information about him.

Edward was born in the United States though both his parents were immigrants from Sweden as you noted.

You mention too that in the 1910 census he was lodging with a Holmquist family. His mother's maiden name was Holmquist, so he was very probably lodging with family members, though I do not know with which part of the family he was lodging.

Edward's middle name was William.

Marjorie was indeed the daughter of Edward, and as far as I know she was an only child.

My records indicate that Edward died on July 26, 1932. However, I am not basing this date on a certificate of death, but rather information that came down to me through the family.

Kind regards,

Lennart Holmquist
Chapel Hill, North Carolina