Bo Beskow 1906-1989

Bo Viktor Beskow was born on 13th February 1906 in Djursholm - a suburban district just outside of Stockholm. He was the fourth (of six) son of the Swedish children's author and illustrator Elsa Beskow (1874-1953). He was a Swedish artist.

In 1926 Beskow attended the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts (Kungliga Konsthögskolan) in Stockholm. Following his studies there, Beskow married the American Zita (Ted) Nardi in 1927 and lived in Rome (1927), Paris (1928 to 1929) and Portugal (1933 to 1934).

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

Beskow was a portrait painter - Most notable are his three portraits of the American writer John Steinbeck (1902-1968); a skilled 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); a mural designer and painter - most notable are the two murals, commissioned by the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961), that Beskow painted in the UN’s headquarters in New York; and a stained glass painter - most notably the Christinae Kyrka Church in Alingsås, Saint Johannes Church in Norrköping and the stairwell of the Norrköping Art Museum (Norrköpings konstmuseum).

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

Examples of Beskow’s work can be seen at 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 April 1989, aged 83.

Bo Beskow