Thorsen, Lars

Thorsen, Lars (1876-1952)

Lars Thorsen was born in Norway on November 20, 1876. He worked various maritime jobs throughout his life including mess-boy, sail-maker, rigger, and Grand Banks fisherman. He had no formal art training but taught himself to paint while at sea. He became famous for his marine paintings and won the Bunce Prize from the Connecticut of Academy of Fine Arts in 1937. Thorsen was a member of the Mystic Art Colony and lived in Noank, Connecticut. He began work for the WPA Federal Arts Project in 1939, completing 81 works many of which were allocated to the Rocky Hill Soldiers’ Home, Undercliff Sanatorium, Fairfield State Hospital, Mystic Oral School, Washington School, Connecticut State Farm for Women, Borough School, Connecticut National Guard Aviation Hangar, and Fort Wright on Fisher’s Island, New York. Thorsen died in New London, Connecticut in 1952.

 

Sources: WPA Artist’s Work Card; WPA Biography; AskART; Who Was Who In American Art (1985), p. 623; Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters (1986), 937; East Side Area Antiques, Lars Thorsen, pp. 9-10 of 12 at http://www.eastsideartandantiques.com/American-Paintings/american-paintings.htm; Photo Standalone 25, Hartford Courant, June 6, 1926; “Sea’s Spirit Is Captured By Thorsen,” Hartford Courant, March 17, 1927; “Mystic Museum to Show Work of Lars Thorsen,” Hartford Courant, April 17, 1945; Donald Smith, “New Mecca for Connecticut’s Artists [Noank],” Hartford Courant, August 3, 1947.

Works of Art Listed in CT Archives’ database from Lars Thorsen:

Returning Fishermen: watercolor
A New England Ketch: watercolor
Fish Houses: watercolor
The Fleet is In: watercolor
White Sails: watercolor
As it Used to Be: watercolor
Fishing Dories: watercolor
The Abandoned Dories: watercolor
The Old Brig: watercolor
A Topsail Schooner: watercolor
The River in Winter: watercolor
The Fish Market: watercolor
The Back Road: watercolor
February Thaw: watercolor
Black Clouds: watercolor
Fishing Boats: watercolor
A Safe Crossing: watercolor
Building the Ship: watercolor
Full & By: oil
The Oyster Shack: watercolor
Cloudy Morning: watercolor
The Bathers: watercolor
A Squatter’s Shack: watercolor
The Old Brig: watercolor
Two Lobstermen: watercolor
Mud Creek: watercolor
Drifting: watercolor
Summer Clouds: watercolor
Noank Fishing Boats: watercolor
Reflections: watercolor
Drying Sails: watercolor
Winter Morning: watercolor
River Boats: watercolor
The Boat Yard: watercolor
A Land Fall: watercolor
Sword Fishing: watercolor
Early Spring: watercolor
Just Arrived: watercolor
Driftwood: monotype
Noank Waterfront: watercolor
Ground Breakers: monotype
Fitting Out: monotype
Sails in the Wind: watercolor
After the Big Blow: watercolor
Low Tide: watercolor
Spring Overhauling: watercolor
Becalmed: watercolor
A Sunday Picnic: monotype
Picnic on the Beach: watercolor
Incoming Tide: monotype
In Port: monotype
Early Winter: watercolor
Returning Fisherman: watercolor
Driftwood: monotype
Stern To: monotype
Yung Fishermen: watercolor
Chicken Farm: monotype
Forgotten: watercolor
Overhaul the Net: watercolor
The Boat Yard: watercolor
Heavy Breakers: watercolor
Ship at Sea: oil
A Friendship Sloop: watercolor
Gathering Clouds: watercolor
Rock Bound: monotype
Early Spring: watercolor
A Summer Breeze: monotype
A New England Coaster: monotype
Winter on the Coast: oil
A Fisherman’s Haven: oil
Running Her Easting Down: oil
Sunday Morning: watercolor
North Sea Fishing men: watercolor
High and Dry: watercolor
The Coal Barge: watercolor
Potter’s Dock: watercolor
In the Doldrums: watercolor
Connecticut Sea Village: monotype
Ready for Sea: watercolor
Lacework of Steel: watercolor
Laying Ashore: watercolor
Thorsen, Lars