BiographyGulbrand Sether was born in Saerskovbygda, Elverum, Norway, in 1869. He worked on Norwegian ships which traveled as far north as the Arctic Circle. After studying art in Norway with the Norwegian city and landscape painter, Fritz Thaulow, he immigrated to the United States in 1893. He worked at numerous odd jobs: waiter, dishwasher, and train conductor. Around 1900, Sether settled in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, an area heavily populated by Norwegian-Americans. He devoted himself to artistic pursuits in his own studio. He also authored several books. Sether died in 1941.
Sether exhibited at the Norse-American Centennial Art Exhibition June 6-9, 1925, which was held at the Minnesota State Fair. He also showed at the Chicago Norske Klub's Annual Norwegian Art Exhibits which was began December 11-19, 1920. These annual exhibitions ended in 1931 when the Norse Art League was formed. Gulbrand Sether exhibited there at Den Norske Kafe on North Avenue (in March and December 1931), but the Art League died that same year. Works by Sether were part of an exhibition called "The Divided Heart: Scandinavian Immigrant Artists 1850-1950," curated at the University of Minnesota in 1982. His paintings were also shown in the exhibit, "Norway in America," sponsored by Vesterheim Norwegian-American (Decorah, IA) in Norway in 1989.
Source of BiographyErickson, Rolf H. "Norwegian-American Artists" in Essays on Norwegian-American Literature and History… Northfield, MN: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1986;
Erickson, Rolf H. "Norwegian-American Artists’ Exhibitions Described in Checklists and Catalogs" in Norwegian-American Studies. Vol. 31. Northfield, MN: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1986;
Lovoll, Odd S. A Century of Urban Life: the Norwegians in Chicago Before 1930. Northfield, MN: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1988;
Nordics in America: The Future of Their Past. Nelson, Marion. ”Norwegian-American Painting in the Context of the Immigrant Community and American Art.” Northfield, MN: The Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1993.