Knute Heldner (1877-1952)


Born: Sweden in 1877

Died: New Orleans, Louisiana in 1952

Lived: Lived in both Duluth, Minnesota and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Studied: Karlskrona Technical School, Sweden; the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm; Minnesota School of Fine Art now called Minnesota College of Art and Design. Art Student League of New York; School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Exhibitions: 1915 Minnesota State Fair, won Gold Medal; 1921 Chicago at the Swedish American Artist association.



Knute Heldner was born in 1877 in Sweden. He emigrated from Kronberg County, Smaland, Sweden sometime around 1900 at the young age of 23. When he came to the United States he like many other Swedish people settled in Midwest. Knute settled in both Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota. Now in Minnesota, the young Heldner held many jobs including a cobbler, miner and lumberjack. Knute eventually would paint lumberjack and north woods paintings of this subject matter. Around 1910, Heldner began to devote more and more time to his love of painting.

In Sweden, Knute had formal art training at Karlskrona Technical School and the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm. In Minnesota, Knute studied at the Minnesota School of Fine Art. In 1915, Knute won First place, the gold metal, at the Minnesota State Fair art show and exhibition. In 1921, Heldner exhibited his work at the Swedish American Artist’s association in Chicago. In 1923, Heldner married one of his art students, Collette Pope Heldner, a famous and listed artist herself. Around this same time, the two began to spend the winters in New Orleans and the summers in Duluth, Minnesota. In 1929, Heldner traveled to Paris to further his education in fine art. This trip lasted 3 years and was funded by Duluth resident, Mrs Herbert Dance.

Knute died in 1952 in the Orleans Parish of Louisiana. He was 77 years of age. Here he was one of the leading artists of the Bohemian Arts League. Knute Heldner is a highly collected and recognized artist in both Duluth, Minnesota and New Orleans, Louisiana. Both of these cities claim Knute Heldner as their own. Knute became an international listed and famous painter with a loose impressionist style of painting. He is well known for landscapes of Minnesota and picturesque scenes of the French Quarter and Louisiana swamps scenes. You will find other works by Heldner that include portraits, French Scenes and Florida works.




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