BiographyPaul Fjelde was born in Minneapolis, MN, August 12, 1892, the son of a sculptor who emigrated from Norway in 1887. He studied at the Minneapolis School of Art, starting at the age of 15. He also studied at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design and the Art Students League in New York, under Lorado Taft in Chicago, at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, and at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiére in Paris.
Fjelde served as chairman of the Sculpture Department at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He also taught at the Pratt Institute of Art from 1929-?, and was a professor emeritus from that institution. He later was an instructor of sculpture at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City. He was editor of the National Sculpture Review between 1951 and 1955. He died May 3, 1984, in Brewster, MA at the age of 91.
Fjelde’s sculptural works include the Lincoln Monument in Frogner Park in Oslo, the statue of Col. Hans C. Heg, leader of the 15th Wisconsin Regiment of Civil War fame in Madison, WI, the Wendell Wilkie Memorial in the Indiana Statehouse, the bronze portrait of Orville Wright in the Hall of Fame colonnade, the John Scott Bradstreet tablet at the Minneapolis Art Institute, and the Pioneers Memorial in Council Bluffs, IA.
Organizations Fjelde belonged to were the Society of Western Sculptors, the Chicago Society of Artists, National Sculpture Society and the National Academy of Design. He received awards from the American-Scandinavian Foundation, Allied Artists of America, and the National Sculpture Society. His works were exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1913-1919 and the Norse American Centennial Art Exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair in 1925. He was also among the sixty-eight exhibitors at the Society of Scandinavian-American Artists exhibition held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1932. His works were shown at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1935-36 and 1940.
The work by Fjelde in the Fine Arts Collection is a bust of Hans Gerhard Stub cast in plaster in 1926. The bust shows Stub wearing a bow tie, high collar, and suit-coat. The sculpture has been added to the Catalogue of American Portraits maintained at the National Portrait Gallery. It also is included in the Inventory of American Sculpture at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. When or under what circumstances the bust was acquired by Luther College is unknown.
The subject of the sculpture, Hans Gerhard Stub (1849-1931), was a prominent churchman and a member of Luther’s first graduating class in 1866. Stub was born in Muskego, WI, but began his higher education at the Bergen Cathedral School in Norway before transferring to Luther College in 1865. He received other higher education at Concordia College, Ft. Wayne, IN; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO; and, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany. Besides being a pastor, he was a seminary professor and active in the Lutheran church hierarchy. He was a pastor in Decorah (1896-1900) and taught at Luther College (1898-1900). Perhaps he is best known for his leadership of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America of which he was president (1917-1925). Stub was the author of numerous books and articles. He laid the cornerstone of Koren Library on April 18, 1921.
Stub was the recipient of the first honorary degree granted by Luther College (Doctor of Laws) on his 75th birthday, February 23, 1924. He also received honorary degrees from Capitol University and St. Olaf College. He was awarded the Order of St. Olav, First Class, for his service to Norway in 1908, followed by the award of Commander in 1912 and the Grand Cross in 1923. Stub was married to Diderikke A. Ottesen in 1876 (died 1879); Valborg Hovind in 1884 (died in 1901); and, Anna Skabo in 1906.
Source of Biography
Sundby-Hanson, Harry. Norwegian Immigrant Contributions to America’s Making. New York, NY: International Press, 1921;
Hansen, Carl G.O. My Minneapolis. Minneapolis, MN: Standard Press, 1956;
Obituary in Sculpture Review, v. 33 (summer 1984), 5; Erickson, Rolf H. "Norwegian-American Artists’ Exhibits Described in Checklists and Catalogs," in Norwegian-American Studies, v. 31. Northfield, MN: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1986.
Related artworkHans Gerhard Stub