Swedish painter and woodcarver, Knute August Heldner (1875–1952), was born in Vederslöv in Småland, Sweden and spent the latter part of his professional career in New Orleans, gaining national and international recognition for his Louisiana landscapes.

For more on the Swedish impact on the southern states, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, see The Swede South or on today's Swedish presence, see Sweden’s impact in the southern states - Swedish interests support nearly 12,000 jobs in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. (Why furniture giant IKEA owns forest and a Swedish steel manufacturer invests SEK 1 billion in the area ...)


Heldner’s formal training was at Karlskrona Technical School and the National Royal Academy of Stockholm. He immigrated to the U.S. around 1902, arriving in Boston and moving to the Midwest, where he worked and continued his art education at the Minneapolis School of Fine Art and Chicago Art Institute. By the mid-1920s, Heldner began spending his winters in New Orleans where he painted scenes from life in the French Quarter and Louisiana landscapes. He was a charter member of the New Orleans Art League, taught painting at the New Orleans Art School and was showing his art in galleries in Sweden, Paris and the U.S.

Heldner had a home in New Orleans (he lived above Preservation Hall in the French Quarter) from the late 1920s until his death in 1952.

For more info on the Swedish presence in New Orleans and Louisiana, contact the Swedish Consulate, at neworleans@consulateofsweden.org

Many Swedish musicians made New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) their home, historically as well as in our time: Swedes in New Orleans as did artists, architects early on:
Other notable NOLA Swedes