Johann Berthelsen
(1883 - 1972)

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Washington Square

Trinity Church

Johann Berthelsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and immigrated with his parents to America at the age of seven. He graduated from the Chicago Music College in 1905 and joined a theatrical tour group, performing opera throughout the United States and Canada. He was first introduced to painting by Svend Svendsen (1864-1945) in Chicago, and trained under the portraitist Wayman Adams (1883-1959) in Indianapolis. Berthelsen and his wife, Helenya, moved to New York City in 1920.

Berthelsen experimented with several media during his career, as he was, based on his recognitions and awards, an able pastelist, oil painter, and also watercolorist. He continued to maintain ties to Chicago, earning his first official recognition for his work from this city, for a pastel he had completed of Central Park, which was entered in the Hoosier Salon Exhibition in 1928. For this he was given the Albert Erksine Prize for Pastel. Working for many years as a private voice instructor, it was not until 1932 that Berthelsen chose to devote himself fully to his painting.
Berthelsen exhibited often in New York, Indianapolis, and Chicago, though less frequently in the latter city. He was a member of the Allied Artists of America, American Watercolor Society, and Salmagundi Club.




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