Swedes abroad

Par Rittsel 

Apart from the daguerreotypists Mazèr, Beurling and Polycarpus, mentioned in the previous page, several Swedish photographers have produced their most important work in other countries. Here is a selection:

Oscar Gustav Rejlander (1813–1875)
The most famous of them all, who studied painting in Rome, where he was introduced to photography He  eventually settled as a photographer in Wolverhampton in 1846, and he probably never returned to Sweden. In England he was always looked upon as Swedish, yet his past in this country is still a mystery. We can guess that he recieved some artistic education here and then followed a lot of other painters to Rome.
In the history of photography, he must be the photographer with the strongest focus on the history of art. His montage "The Two Ways of Life" from 1857 is his most famous picture; a novelty in it's time, soon to become passé. He did however produce a number of straightforward portraits and a series of direct and sensuous nudes.

Otto Wegener
opened in 1883 an elegant studio in the Place de la Madeleine in Paris, competing for the city's elegant clientele with Nadar the Younger and Reutlinger. He signed his pictures simply with his christian name "Otto", and his style can best be described as "art nouveau". Edward Steichen was for a while his apprentice. More...

John A. Anderson
left Sweden for the United States as a boy in 1870. During the 1890s he produced a magnificent documentation of the life of Sioux Indians in Nebraska and South Dakota. A Swedish book tells the story and features Anderson's photographs, copied from the original plates in the collection of the Nebraska State Historical Society: Jacobson, Claes-Håkan: ROSEBUD SIOUX. Ett folk i förvandling (1989).

August W. Ericson
emigrated in 1866, at the age of 18, to the USA. In 1876 he settled in Arcata, California, from where he made excursions do document the life of the lumberjacks and railroad workers.
His life is portrayed in Peter E. Palmquist's book "Fine Californian Views" (Eureka 1975).

Eric A. Hägg
went to the USA in 1871, aged three. He is famous as the most prominent photographer of the Gold Rush in Klondike. His pictures from the Chilkoot Pass in the winter of 1897-98 provided Chaplin with a model for the famous sequence in "Gold Rush".
Murray Morgan has written a book about Hägg (or Hegg, in American spelling): "One man's Gold Rush". See also a 1976 catalog from ICP in New York: "The Alaska Gold Rush 1897-1901 – photographs by E A Hegg". His archive is preserved in the University of Washington Library.

Frans Julius Fahlman
established himself as a merchant in Marseilles before returning to Stockholm in 1840 as a consul to the French embassy. He moved to Paris in 1851 and opened a printing shop and practised the daguerreotype and wet plate photography at Rue de Rivoli/Rue d'Alger. He photographed the World Exhibition in Paris 1855 and published a portfolio the next year (a first in the history of Swedish photography) with 20 x 30 cm photographs of the Swedish section – where the industrialist and former daguerreotypist J W Bergström exhibited his products along with the builders of the first functioning diffrence engine, Georg and Edvard Scheutz.  Fahlman died in Stockholm of a heart failure in 1878, aged 67. Details in Swedish.