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Carl Oscar Borg scrapbooks, 1903-1955

Carl Oscar Borg scrapbooks, 1903-1955

Borg, Carl Oscar, 1879-1947

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 3 v. (on one microfilm reel)

Summary: Scrapbooks compiled by Borg, and after his death by his widow, Lily Borg Elmberg, containing newspaper and magazine articles that detail Borg's career from his arrival in Los Angeles in 1903. Included are articles about his years working in the silent movie industry (1925-1928) as the art director of films, "Black Pirate" (starring Douglas Fairbanks), "The Gaucho," "The Night of Love," "The Magic Flame," "Two Lovers," and "The Iron Mask." The scrapbooks document the development of the burgeoning art and film communities of Los Angeles.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, etcher, film art director; Los Angeles, Calif., Sweden, and Santa Barbara, Calif. Borg emigrated to the United States from Sweden in 1901, settling in Los Angeles in 1903 where he became active in the emerging Los Angeles art community. He traveled to Sweden in 1939, remaining there until the end of World War II. Upon his return to California, he settled in Santa Barbara where he remained until his death. Borg specialized in depicting Native Americans and landscapes of California and the Southwest.

Provenance

Donated 1998 by Helen Laird, who received the papers from Borg's widow, Lily Borg Elmberg in preparation for a biography on Carl Oscar Borg.

A Finding Aid to the Carl Oscar Borg Scrapbooks,
1903-1955
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.borgcarl
Author
Finding aid prepared by Rosa M. Fernández
Biographical Note
Self taught Swedish-American artist Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947) began his career as a sign painter in New York. He emigrated to the United States from Stockholm, Sweden in 1901, settling in Los Angeles in 1903 where he became active in the emerging Los Angeles art community. He became the protogé of Phoebe Apperson Hearst (mother of William Randolph Hearst) whose support and endorsement enabled him to study in Europe. He established himself as a serious artist after World War II working in the fields of print, film and painting, enabling him to secure a place among the Los Angeles artistic elite. Borg specialized in painting the Southwestern Hopi and Navajo Indians. He also painted mariners and the seal hunting scenes which took place in Channel Island near Santa Barbara. He was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Academy of Arts, the Sociéte Internationale des Beaux Arts (Paris) and the prestigious Salmagundi Club. He traveled to Sweden in 1939, remaining there until the end of World War II. Upon his return to California, he settled in Santa Barbara where he remained until his death in 1947.
Arrangement
Volumes are divided into three main categories: I. Los Angeles Years (1903-1935), II. Silent movies and trip to Sweden (1925-1938), and III. Sweden and Santa Barbara years (1935-1955). The dates of a number of the newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs found in the scrapbooks overlap. In addition, Scrapbook I, 1903-1935, is in fragile condition and should be handled with care.
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of three scrapbooks compiled by Borg, and after his death by his widow, Lily Borg Elmberg. These contain newspaper clippings from the U.S. and Sweden, documenting Borg's lifelong career as a painter and printmaker since his arrival in Los Angeles in 1903. One scrapbook, 1925-1938, highlights his role as supervising art director for the1926 silent film, The Black Pirate starring actor Douglas Fairbanks. Also included are articles about his years working in the silent movie industry (1925-1928) as the art director of films, Black Pirate, The Gaucho, The Night of Love, The Magic Flame, Two Lovers, and The Iron Mask.
Provenance
Donated 1998 by Helen Laird, who received the papers from Borg's widow, Lily Borg Elmberg in preparation for a biography on Carl Oscar Borg.
Processing Information
Processing of the collection was completed June 26, 2000 by Rosa M. Fernández at the Archives of American Art, Washington, DC.

Additional Forms Available

Microfilm reel 5671 available through Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Carl Oscar Borg scrapbooks, 1903-1955. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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