BiographyArne Berger was born August 7, 1872, in Fagernes, Valdres, Norway. He received his first drawing instruction in Norway. By the early 1890s, Berger had moved to Minneapolis and was listed as an artist with the J.E. Burt Portrait Company in 1893. The following year he moved to Northfield, MN, where he worked and began his altar painting business. He also painted portraits for prominent members of the community. In late 1903. he moved to Decorah, where he continued his altar paintings and portrait work. In 1907, he moved to Portland, OR, where he painted landscapes, portraits and altar paintings. He finally moved to Minneapolis in 1918 and set up a studio. There he distributed his Catalogue and Price List and advertised his willingness to do restoration work and art instruction. Berger continued to paint altar pieces into the 1920s and 1930s. His last known work was a copy of Hofmann’s Jesus in Gethsemane painted for Grace Lutheran Church in Fairmont, MN, in 1934. Berger was married to Henrietta Berg, daughter of the school teacher Ole.H. Berg, from the Decorah area. They were the parents of three children, Agnes, Louise and Kermit. He died of heat stroke in Minneapolis, July 28, 1951.
Arne Berger participated in the Norse-American Centennial Art Exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair in Minneapolis, MN, in 1925. Several of his paintings are also in museum collections in Norway.
Source of BiographyBerger, A. Catalogue from A. Berger, Artist. Decorah, IA: [Eureka Portrait Co.], 1903; Berger, Arne. Catalogue and Price List of Altar Paintings, Landscapes, Oil Paintings from Life and from Photographs. Minneapolis, MN: A. Berger, ca. 1920; Hansen, Carl G. My Minneapolis: a Chronicle of What has been Learned and Observed about the Norwegians in Minneapolis through One Hundred Years. Minnapolis, MN: Standard Press, 1956; Anderson, Kristin M. Norwegian-American Altar Painting, 1880-1920. M.A. Thesis, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary, 1987; Obituary, Minneapolis Posten, August 10, 1951;
40th wedding anniversary, Decorah Posten, April 24, 1947.