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Andreas Ruud Larsen Papers

Identifier: M/A 0025

Description of Contents

The collection consists of four boxes and a map drawer. Box 1 contains biographical information and documents about the stained glass windows as well as the use of the sketches in an exhibit in 2000. Box 2 and 3 contain sketches of stained glass windows. Box 4 contains small pieces of stained glass. The map drawer contains oversized sketches of stained glass windows.


  • Creation: 1910 - 2000


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


Andreas Ruud Larsen was born on January 21st, 1876 in the county of Hedmark in Norway. He was trained as an interior designer, but later moved to Nuremberg, Germany to study painting, drawing and design. Larsen also lived for a period in France before moving to New York in 1903.

In 1909, Larsen was hired to head the art glass department of the Minneapolis glass and paint company Forman, Ford and Company. He worked there for fourteen years before deciding to establish his own company with Edward Gertsch in 1923. While working for Forman, Ford and Company, Larsen remained involved in the Minneapolis art community. Several of his paintings were featured in local and national exhibitions between 1911 and 1925.

Larsen’s stained-glass work was distinctive among his contemporaries due to his habit of creating smaller scenes constructed of small sections of colored glass, often with red and blue dominating his color scheme. This practice had fallen out of favor among many of his contemporaries both in the U.S. and in Norway but experienced a revitalization around the same time that Larsen was creating his commercial work. His work has similarities to the work of Louis Tiffany (1848-1943). He also had a professional association with the most famous stained-glass maker of the time, Mr. Charles J. Connick (1875-1945) of Boston, MA.

Larsen ran the Andreas R. Larsen Stained and Leaded Glass Company successfully until his death on December 15, 1942. His was survived by his wife, Sigrid, who sold a number of sketches, drawings, books, pictures and samples of Mr. Larsen’s work to the Minneapolis Athenaeum in 1943.

In 2000, some of Larsen’s sketches were selected for exhibition by the Minnesota Historical Society for their exhibit Vandringer: Norwegian-American Painters in Minnesota, 1870-1970. This exhibition took place from April 1, 2000, until October 15, 2000, at the James J. Hill House Art Gallery.


2.88 Linear Feet (4 boxes and map-case N10)

Language of Materials


Ownership History

Sketches and glass materials were created and owned by Mr. Andreas Ruud Larsen until his death in December 1942. In January 1943 the collection was sold to Mr. S. C. Gale of the Athenaeum in the form of two separate checks, one for the amount of $100 for Mr. Larsen’s sketches and drawings and one for $28 for books, pictures etc. belonging to Mrs. Larsen. He donated the materials to the Athenaeum. Mrs. Larsen also gave to the Athenaeum several pieces of stained and leaded glass belonging to her husband.

There was some contest in 1945 of the circumstances in which the materials, specifically the glass pieces, were acquired (whether purchased or given) which led the Athenaeum directors to decide to consider the glass pieces to be consigned property, that is belonging to the Athenaeum but without right of sale. The collection was transferred to the Minneapolis Public Library around 1989 and given an accession number in 1994 (1994.28.01-04). In March 2000, ten items from the collection were loaned to the Minnesota Historical Society for an exhibit at the James J. Hill House Art Gallery called Vandringer: Norwegian-American Painting in Minnesota, 1870-1970. The materials, consisting of pencil and watercolor on paper and transparent plastic, glass and lead, were insured by the Historical Society for $150 each, for a total insurance value of $1500. The items were returned to the Special Collections Department of the Minneapolis Public Library in October, 2000.

Processing Information

The photographs and sketches in this collection were numbered and indexed by location during initial processing in 2012. A folder of photographs from the library's uncataloged photograph collection was added to the collection in 2018 by Jenna Himsl. Photographs in the 2018 addition are not numbered or indexed by location.

Specific Locations with Larsen Windows

Arlington Hills Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN
LAR205, LAR212, LAR213
Catholic Church of St. James, Jamestown, ND
Catholic Church, Lonsdale, MN
Catholic Church, St. Paul
Chisago Church, Chisago, MN
Christ Church, St. Paul, MN
LAR024, LAR198
Congdon, Walter House (probably G.G. Hartley House, 1305 East Superior Ave., Duluth, MN) In 1954 the house was torn down and a retail business was built in its place.
LAR046, LAR083
Congregational Church, St. Louis Park, MN
LAR088, LAR152, LAR189
Deephaven Altar J. Hill Forsburg
Fort Snelling Chapel, Fort Snelling, MN. This sketch represents the 3rd Infantry division seal. The Third Infantry's Second Battalion was based out of Fort Snelling from 1888 to 1942, when it was inactivated.
Gilman, MN
Grace Episcopal Church, Jamestown, ND (405 Second Avenue NE, Jamestown, ND 58401). The Grace Episcopal Church was founded in 1881. The windows were set in 1927. The church was added to the national register of historic places in 1992.
Gustavus Adolphus Church, N.E. Minneapolis (1509 NE 27th Ave, Minneapolis, MN).
Hamline United Methodist Church (formerly Hamline Methodist Episcopal), 1514 Englewood Avenue, St. Paul, MN
LAR003, LAR080, LAR174, LAR175, LAR176, LAR202, LAR203
Hopkins German Lutheran Church, Hopkins, MN. The Hopkins German Lutheran Church changed its name to the Zion Lutheran Church shortly after leaving the building which Larsen was contracted to create windows for. The building was sold to a Baptist Church, and later was converted to a photography studio. At some point in the building's history, the window from this sketch was removed or destroyed, and the area where the altar stood was remodeled into a kitchen. The present resident of the building is a law firm, Stempel and Doty Law. Some of Larsens windows still remain installed, but sketches of those windows have not been found.
Haley, John
LAR192, LAR193
Karter- Glass for Restaurant
Lutheran Church, Barnesville, MN
LAR178, LAR181
Lutheran Church, Delano, MN
Lutheran Church, Diamond Lake, MN
Lutheran Church, Faribault, MN
Lutheran Church, Heron Lake, MN
Madison, MN or Watertown, SD
Minneapolis Area Vocational and Technical School (Vocational High School)
LAR002, LAR005, LAR129, LAR223, LAR228, LAR231
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (written in Italian)
Rainbow Cafe?
Shields, Litton E.
Snyder Residence
St. Matthews Church, St. Anthony Park, MN
LAR154, LAR211
St. Olaf University, Agnes Mellby Hall Chapel (Austin, MN)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church on the Hill
LAR110, LAR139
St. Peter's Church Young Men's Club
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Church, Almelund, MN
LAR011, LAR081, LAR214
Swedish Tabernacle, Minneapolis, MN
Torkelson, V
Watertown, St. Paul, MN
Andreas Ruud Larsen Papers
Blaine Henderson
May 11, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.