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Niels Yde Andersen
Niels Yde Andersen (Danish-American, 1888-1952) artist, printmaker, etcher, draftsman, painter, graphic designer, engineer, teacher and metallurgical furnace designer. Andersen was primarily known for his industrial etchings of factories & workers, steel industry scenes, harbor scenes, working class people, and landscapes, but was also known for his early scenes of boyhood youth in Denmark, impressions of domestic life, his experiences in Russia and various religious works. He worked in various intaglio processes including etching, drypoint, engraving, aquatint, and lithography. Andersen was born on March 4, 1888 and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark. He formally studied architecture and engineering in Denmark and Germany, and received only a little formal training in the arts while in Europe. He worked for a company in Europe that was related to the American Radiator Company located in Buffalo, NY. He married Birthe (née Rasmussen), who was the niece of Denmark’s most famous composer Carl August Nielsen (Danish, 1865-1931), and they had six children. Andersen immigrated to the United States in 1912 at the age of twenty-four and spent the major part of his life working the steel industry as an engineer and blast furnace designer.

From 1931-32, Andersen traveled to Moscow, Russia (now Russian Federation) as the Senior Design Engineer where his skill and knowledge helped construct the Ural District Steel Plant named “The Magnitogorsk” (which roughly translates to “Magnet Mountain City”) which was the world’s largest plant of its kind at that time.

While back in the States, with guidance from Western New York artist Kevin B. O’Callahan (American, 1902-1977), some of Buffalo’s finest printmakers came together to form the Buffalo Print Club in 1931 located in Buffalo, NY. They were given a space in the basement of the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright Knox Art Gallery), which formerly held the Art Students’ League (1902). The members set up their presses and equipment, and met twice a week in the evenings. Andersen had only begun etching when he joined the club around 1932 after returning from his assignment in Russia. Drypoint etching became his favorite medium and within a short time, he began entering exhibitions where he received praise which garnered national attention. He won prizes in exhibitions at the Albright Art Gallery, and at shows in New York City and Philadelphia.

Andersen is primarily known for his industrial etchings of Buffalo which he experienced firsthand while working in the steel industry. Referred to as the most artistic of the printmakers who “etched with an elegant line”, Andersen exhibited in all of the National Print Shows sponsored by the Buffalo Print Club at the Albright Art Gallery as well as numerous other national venues. He held administrative positions within the club and held memberships in the Patteran Society, the Society of American Graphic Artists (formerly the Society of American Etchers from 1931-, previously the Brooklyn Society of Etchers from 1915), and the Engineering Society of Buffalo.

Around 1940, the Buffalo Print Club moved from the basement of the Albright Art Gallery into O’Callahan’s home located at 620 Niagara Street in the city. At its peak in 1943, there were only 21 active members in the club, but only three artists stood out above the rest in the field of printmaking: Kevin B. O’Callahan (President from 1931-c1952-53), Niels Yde Andersen and William J. Schwanekamp (President from 1953). More can be read about the club, its members and their exhibition history on our Buffalo Print Club page.

Andersen’s work can be found in many regional and national museums & galleries, as well as private and public collections worldwide. The Library of Congress purchased his prints, and others from the club through the renowned Joseph Pennell Fund. Prints were acquired by the Society of American Etchers and Museum of Foreign Arts in Moscow, Russia (now the Russian Federation). Andersen died on October 2, 1952 at the age of 64, shortly before he was able to retire. His fellow members of the Buffalo Print Club organized a memorial exhibition for him in 1954 at the Albright Art Gallery.

Chronology with Select Exhibitions:

1888- Born, March 4, Copenhagen, Denmark.

1912- Immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-four and settled in the Buffalo, NY, area.

Circa 1912-1952- Spent the major part of his life working in the steel industry as a blast furnace designer.

1931-32- Traveled to Moscow, Russia (now Russian Federation) as the Senior Design Engineer to help construct the Ural District Steel Plant named “The Magnitogorsk” (which roughly translates to: “Magnet Mountain City”), which was the world’s largest plant of its kind at that time under its five year plan.

Circa 1932- Became an early member of the Buffalo Print Club, Buffalo, NY.

1936- Spring, exhibited, group show, “First National Print Show of the Buffalo Print Club”, 670 pieces were shown by 128 exhibitors, (Buffalo Print Club members and national printmakers) in six galleries, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show (prize), Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1937- Exhibited, group show (prize), Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1938- Spring, exhibited, group show, “Second National Print Show of the Buffalo Print Club”, 118 artists showed 259 prints in three galleries, 30 contributions by ten Buffalo Print Club members were included, sponsored by the Society of American Etchers, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1940- May 3-5, exhibited, group show, "Art Show Sponsored by the Corning Kiwanis Club", and organized by fellow Buffalo Print Club artist Jean MacKay, in the Crystal Room of the Steuben Hotel, Corning, NY. Spring, exhibited, group show, “Third National Print Show of the Buffalo Print Club”, 227 prints by 124 artists, 21 by members of the club, were shown in two galleries, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show (prize), Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, “Best 100 Prints of the Year”, for his drypoint etching “Full Dinner Pails” (Plate 5), Grand Central Galleries, NYC.

1942- April 1, exhibited, group show, "Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Print Club", lithographs shown by Andersen to include a redition of himself as a very young man, an apprentice in Denmark, running downstairs in his wooden shoes at 5 o'clock in the morning on his way to work, and Andersen quipped, "...that a certain rhythm must be adhered to when running downstairs in wooden shoes-especially if more than one step is taken at a time."[1], held in Room for Local Art, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1943- Spring, exhibited, group show, “Fourth National Print Show of the Buffalo Print Club”, 143 prints by 124 artists, 5 by members of the club, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. May 8, Andersen with fellow Buffalo Print Club members Kevin B. O’Callahan, Edward J. Kelley, Douglas W. Gorsline and Carlo Nisita gave a demonstration on the “Making of a Print”, to coincide with the “Fourth National Print Show of the Buffalo Print Club”, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show (purchase prize), “28th Annual Exhibition of the American Etchers Society”, for the drypoint etching “After Visiting Hours”, held in the National Academy building, NYC.

1944- Spring, exhibited, solo show, prints and drawings, sponsored by the Buffalo Print Club, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1952- Died, October 2, at the age of 64, shortly before he was able to retire, Snyder, NY.

1954- Fellow members of the Buffalo Print Club organized a memorial exhibition for Niels at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1988- Fall, exhibited, group show, “Kevin B. O’Callahan and The Buffalo Print Club”, Burchfield Art Center (now the Burchfield-Penney Art Center), 14 prints which included etchings, lithographs and intaglio prints, Buffalo, NY.

2003- Exhibited, spring, group retrospective exhibition, “The Buffalo Print Club: The Print Collection of the Estate of Rodger Sweetland”, 14 etchings and 3 lithographs, Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY.

2009- January 29-February 27, exhibited, group show, “Western New York Impressions”, from the private collection of Buffalo artist and art patron Gerald Mead, the Niagara County Community College Art Gallery, Sanborn, NY.

2014- November 29-December 31, 2014, exhibited, group show, "Niels Yde Andersen (1888-1952): Etchings, Drawings and Friends", Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY.

Memberships: Buffalo Print Club, Buffalo, NY; The Patteran Society, Buffalo, NY; Society of American Graphic Artists (formerly the Society of American Etchers from 1931-, previously the Brooklyn Society of Etchers from 1915), NYC; The Engineering Society of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

Prizes/Awards: Prize, group show, Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright Knox Art Gallery), Buffalo, NY, 1936, 1937 & 1940; Prize, Philadelphia Print Club, Philadelphia, PA, 1941; Purchase Prize, from the “28th Annual Exhibition of the American Etchers Society”, for the drypoint etching “After Visiting Hours”, the Society of American Etchers (from 1931-, later the SAGA Society of American Graphic Artists, and previously the Brooklyn Society of Etchers from 1915), held in the National Academy building, NYC, 1943.

Collections: Library of Congress, prints purchased through the Joseph Pennell Fund and also through their subscription club fund, Washington, DC; Albright Knox Art Gallery, untitled & undated etching 5.75 x 4.25”, gift of George F. Goodyear in 1958, Accession No. P1958:8.1, and “Saturday Night Reflections” (1938), etching 11.125 x 8.5”, gift of ACG Trust in 1970, Accession No. P1970:1.1, Buffalo, NY; Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art, “Albert Reese Letters: 1946-1949”, which contains correspondences regarding the preparation of Reese’s book American Prize Prints of the 20th Century (1949), mainly soliciting biographical information and information about specific artworks with correspondences by Niels Yde Andersen, Washington, DC; National Gallery of Art, “Going to Town” (1940), drypoint etching, acquired 1943 from the Rosenwald Collection, Accession No. 1943.3.433, Washington, DC; Carnegie Museum of Art, “Duet” engraving and drypoint on paper, (7-15/16 x 10-7/8”), purchased by the Leisser Art Fund, Accession No. 46.2, and also in the Carnegie Institute, both in Pittsburgh, PA; Henry Charles Lea Collection, Philadelphia, PA; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Museum Collections, Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Williamstown, MA, untitled-‘Mason Working on Chimney, Carpenter Working on Window, Woman Looking out of Skylight’, etching on wove paper (1945), 9 x 12.6”, Accession No. 1984.53; Danish-American Archives; Moscow Museum of Foreign Arts, for the etching “The Tap”, Moscow, Russia; The Danish Museum.

Publications: Index of Artists: International-Biographical, by Daniel Trowbridge Mallett, Two Volumes: Includes Index, 1935; Buffalo Courier-Express, “Roto Radio Talks How Etching is Made”, by Kevin B. O’Callahan, with 18 photographs of the printing process with a finished print by O’Callahan titled “Tracers”, and Niels Yde Andersen with fellow Buffalo Print Club members William J. Schwanekamp, John "Jack" Stewart and Joe Cleary, Pg. 18, Monday, April 27, 1936; American Prize Prints of the 20th Century, by Albert Reese, 1949; Print Reference Sources: Bibliography 18th-20th Centuries, by Lauris Mason & Joan Ludman, 1975; Who Was Who in American Art, Artists Active Between 1898-1947, by Peter Hastings Falk (editor), 1985; Kevin B. O’Callahan And The Buffalo Print Club, prepared on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name, Burchfield Art Center (now the Burchfield-Penney Art Center), Buffalo, New York, with essays from Nancy Weekly, Albert Michaels, Vern Stein and Susan Stevens, 1988; Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, by Peter Hastings Falk (editor), 1999; Buffalo News, “A Bygone Art”, by Richard Huntington, March 28, unknown page number, 2003; Davenport’s Art Reference: Gold Edition, by Ray Davenport, 2005; The Artists Bluebook: 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005, by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier (editor) of AskArt.com, 2005.

Subscription Prints Offered by the Buffalo Print Club (1936-1948): “Blast Furnace No. 2” (1938, drypoint etching, 29.1 x 21.4cm), by Niels Yde Andersen, 1938.

For additional information on this artist or for other possible examples of his works, please visit the AskArt link

(Rewritten in parts & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 11/2010, www.meibohmfinearts.com, Sources: Our internal records, exhibit catalog from, “The Buffalo Print Club: The Print Collection of the Estate of Rodger Sweetland”, 2003; Selected excerpts from Kevin B. O’Callahan And The Buffalo Print Club, prepared on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name, Burchfield Art Center (now the Burchfield-Penney Art Center), Buffalo, New York, with essays from Nancy Weekly, Albert Michaels, Vern Stein and Susan Stevens, 1988; AskArt.com; kulturarv.dk, Kunstindeks Danmark & Weilbachs Kunstnerleksikon, “Artist: Niels Yde Andersen, Information from Kunstindeks Danmark”; highbeam.com, online newspaper mention, “Related newspaper, magazine, and journal articles; Article: A Bygone Art”; Wikipedia; wivb.com, online news, “Art gallery presents WNY Impressions”, NCCC, Jan. 29-Feb. 27”, published Friday, January 16, 2009; nga.gov, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, “The Collection; Artist: Niels Yde Andersen”; albrightknox.org, Collection, Objects, Niels Yde Andersen; cdm15001.contentdm.oclc.org, online Digital Collection, untitled-‘Mason Working on Chimney, Carpenter Working on Window, Woman Looking out of Skylight’, etching on wove paper (1945), 9 x 12.6”, Accession No. 1984.53, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Museum Collections, Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Williamstown, MA; aaa.si.edu, Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art, “Collections; Reese, Albert; Albert Reese Letters, 1946-1949”; fultonhistory.con, online digitized newspaper article, The Evening Leader (Corning, NY), "Kiwanis Sponsored Art Show To Feature Many Varied Works", Pg. 6, Monday, April 8, 1940, PDF Corning NY Evening Leader 1940 Grayscale - 0107.pdf ; fultonhistory.con, online digitized newspaper article and quote [1], Buffalo Courier-Express, "Sketches of Artists as Well As Their Work on Exhibition", by Virginia Ford, Thursday, April 2, 1942, PDF Buffalo NY Courier Express 1942 - 2591.pdf.)
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