Andreas Ruud Larsen and the Hamline Methodist Church Windows
On Sunday April 22 Hamline United Methodist Church will be celebrating their listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
When they were doing research to make a case for historic designation, they discovered Andreas Ruud Larsen designed their stained glass windows.
Special Collections has a collection of Larsen’s stained glass work: drawings of windows and photos. The black and white photo above is of Hamline Church’s Christmas window from the Larsen collection. The drawing above of the St. Anne Window proposed for Hamline Church is also from the Larsen collection. The finished window, ”Hannah dedicating Samuel” is next to it. Hamline Church used our Larsen collection while doing their historic designation research.
We also rediscovered the Larsen Collection while helping Hamline Church with their research. Now our hardworking intern Blaine is working on an item level finding aid of the Larsen Collection.
Here is the biography she wrote about Larsen:
Andreas Ruud Larsen was born on January 21st, 1876 in the county of Hedmark in Norway. He was trained as an interior designer, but later moved to Nuremberg, Germany to study painting, drawing and design. Larsen also lived for a period in France before moving to New York in 1903.
In 1909, Larsen was hired to head the art glass department of the Minneapolis glass and paint company Forman, Ford and Company. He worked there for fourteen years before deciding to establish his own company with Edward Gertsch in 1923. While working for Forman, Ford and Co. Larsen remained involved in the Minneapolis art community. Several of his paintings were featured in local and national exhibitions between 1911 and 1925.
Larsen’s stained glass work was distinctive among his contemporaries due to his habit of creating smaller scenes constructed of small sections of colored glass, often with red and blue dominating his color scheme. This practice had fallen out of favor among many of his contemporaries both in the U.S. and in Norway, but experienced a revitalization around the same time that Larsen was creating his commercial work. His work has similar influences to the work of Louis Tiffany (1848-1943). He also had a professional association with the most famous stained glass maker of the time, Mr. Charles J. Connick (1875-1945) of Boston, MA.
Larsen ran the Andreas R. Larsen Stained and Leaded Glass Company successfully until his death on December 15, 1942. His was survived by his wife, Sigrid, who sold a number of sketches, drawings, books, pictures and samples of Mr. Larsen’s work to S.C. Gale in 1943. The collection was later transferred to Minneapolis Public Library.
In 2000, some of Larsen’s sketches were selected for exhibition by the Minnesota Historical Society for their exhibit Vandringer: Norwegian-American Painters in Minnesota, 1870-1970. This exhibition took place from April 1, 2000 until October 15, 2000 at the James J. Hill House Art Gallery.