Nils Richard Alexander Hogner (1887 - 1970)
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Nils Hogner became a painter of murals and portraits, a printmaker, and illustrator of children's books. His career included art study in Denmark, living and working in the Southwest, and then settling into a relatively sophisticated existence in the east, primarily in New York City, and Litchfield, Connecticut.
From Swedish-American immigrants, Hogner settled in Whiteville, Massachusetts with his family, and studied at the Boston School of Painting, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, and, re-crossing the ocean, at the Rhodes Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark. He also became a pupil of Russian artist, Leon Gaspard (1882-1964); and Swedish painter, Ivar Nyberg (1855-1925).
In the 1920s and early '30s, he ran the Klagetoh Trading Post in Arizona. He married a Navajo woman, painted and traveled in Arizona and New Mexico, and in 1930 won a prize in an exhibition at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. He also exhibited work at the Albuquerque Museum.
Divorcing his Indian wife, he became a professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and there met Dorothy Childs, who was an established author of children's books whose subjects were wide ranging but often focused on science and nature with topics of bugs, earthworms, cats, butterflies, burros, dogs, puffins and snakes. The couple married, and they subsequently collaborated on nearly forty books including Southwest topics such as Pedro the Potter, The Navajo Flute Player, Education of a Burro, Santa Fe Caravans and Navajo Winter Nights. Two other books, Frogs and Polliwogs and South to Padre, resulted from a trip the couple took in 1936 from New York City to Texas, where they spent much time at Padre Island, near Corpus Christi and then traveled south to Mexico.
Returning to settle in the east in the mid 1930s, Nils Hogner became a member of the National Society of Mural Painters, Litchfield Art Club, Silvermine Guild and Architectural League. Exhibition venues included the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford; Whistler House in Lowell, Massachusetts; and the Albany Institute of History and Art.
Biography from the archives of AskART
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