Bo Beskow 1906-1989

Bo Viktor Beskow was born on 13th February 1906 in Djursholm, Stockholm. He was a Swedish artist.

He was the fourth (of six) son of the Swedish childrenÂ’s author and illustrator Elsa Beskow (1874-1953).

Beskow attended the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts (Konstakademien), Stockholm (1926). Following his studies there, Beskow married (the American) Zita (Ted) Nardi in 1927 and lived in Rome (1927), Paris (1928) and Portugal (1933 to 1934).

Beskow had solo exhibitions in Stockholm (1929, 1932, 1934, 1938, 1941 and 1945), Gothenburg (1933, 1937 and 1942), Gävle and Borås (1942) and Oslo (1936).

As a portrait painter, Beskow painted three portraits of the American writer John Steinbeck (1902-1968).

As an illustrator and writer, his travel books include 'Janne i Rom' (1927) and 'Flykten till Portugal' (1934) - his children's book illustrations include 'Sagan om den snälla björnen' (1921), 'Bilresan' (1929) and 'Eskimåtrollet Figge' (1945)

As stained glass artist Beskow worked in the Christinae Kyrka Church in Alingsås, Saint Johannes Church in Norrköping and the stairwell of the Norrköping Art Museum (Norrköpings konstmuseum). Between 1945 and 1976, Beskow created thirty seven stained glass windows for Skara Cathedra. The motifs are mostly biblical, but the two Swedish saints Bridget of Sweden and Helena of Skövde are also depicted

In 1951, Beskow married the ceramist Greta Berge (b.1930). From 1934, Beskow was based in Stockholm but in 1961 he moved, with his new family, to Söderköping, just outside Nörrköping.

Beskow was commissioned (in the early 1960s) by the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961), to design and paint a mural on the concave west wall of the Hammarskjöld Library in the United Nations Building, New York

Examples of Beskow's work are held in the collections of the National Museum (Nationalmuseum) and the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna museet) in Stockholm and the Gripsholm Castle (Gripsholms slott) in Mariefred, Södermanland.

Bo Beskow died in Östergötland on 1st April 1989, aged 83.

Bo Beskow