painter of exceptional talent who appears to
have been the first professional artist of Norwegian immigrant
origin, Gausta emigrated from Telemark when he was 13. The family
settled on a farm near Harmony, Minn.
leaving Luther College in 1875, he studied in Norway and Munich,
spending six years abroad. Many of his paintings now hang in
Luther College and in the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa.
Many churches in the area still have altar paintings which he
Gausta's Boy Setting Trap,
in Luther College's Fine
works have had a cultural significance for Norwegians in America.
Gausta was the first man of his profession in a pioneer Norwegian
immigrant society. He left a unique record of early immigrant
faces and life in his portraits and genre paintings and established
a place for art in the culture of the Norwegians in America.
photograph of Gausta at work in his studio and the biographical
information were provided by his great great nephew, Robert
L. Burch of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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Copyright, 2000, Roger M. Grace