E. Thor Carlson Logo Top

Home PageArtist BiographySite SearchReviews & ExhibitionsWork in CollectionsSite Specific MuralsClient Design ProposalsLord of the Rings ArtDante's Inferno ArtFantastic ImagesFine Art PortraitsPaintingsFine Art PastelsArt DrawingsFine Art AbstractsArt SculptureArt TapestryFiber ArtFine Art Technique BooksFine Art LessonsContact UsAbout this SiteLinks Page



E. [Edward] Thor Carlson
1925 - 2013

E. Thor Carlson and tapestry Lozengers and Squares
Photo by Doris Nelson


E. [Edward] Thor Carlson was born in Gardner, Massachusetts on September 18, 1925. He has drawn since childhood and began to paint in oils at the age of ten. His first murals were painted in 1942-43 for the Gardner High School auditorium. Upon graduation, he received a scholarship to attend the Art School of the Worcester Art Museum. He studied with Herbert Barnett and Leon Hovesepian. His studies were interrupted by WWII and a hitch in the Navy as a Sea Bee in the South Pacific.

Portrait of the Artist by Barbara Ellis






Portrait of the Artist
by Barbara Ellis

While overseas, he took his entrance exams for Yale's School of Fine Arts. He began there in 1946. He studied with Eugene Savage, Louis York, Dean Keller, and Sante Graziani. Before graduation, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year's study at the Academia in Florence to study fresco painting. Returning to Yale, he completed his fifth and final year, studying with Josef Albers and Willem DeKooning. He graduated 'In Primi Honoris' with a BFA in painting (1951).

After graduation he went to New York City, working first as a Junior Art Director at the advertising firm of McCann-Erickson and, later, on advise from well known muralist, Allyn Cox, as a free-lance mural painter. He became a member of the National Society of Mural Painters (1956) after painting a mural in the Waldorf-Astoria for Conrad N. Hilton.

He left New York in 1957, returning to Massachusetts to teach art, in addition to producing it. In over twenty-seven years of teaching, he has taught at the Worcester and Fitchburg Art Museums and was Senior Art Supervisor of the Athol Public Schools. He founded the Art Departments of the Mt. Wachusett and Massasoit Community Colleges. He was an Artist in Residence at the Applewild School, Fitchburg. His last full time position was as the Instructor for the Commercial Art Program at Monty Tech., Fitchburg. He retired in 1983.

In 1986, he moved to Charlestown, New Hampshire. During the summer of 1987, he was a "Visiting Artist" at Saint Gaudens National Park in Cornish.

    E. Thor Carlson on the pergola at St. Gaudens
The Artist on the pergola
at Saint Gaudens

He worked in pastel, directly from natural views, and produced twenty-two large works. The State of New Hampshire has purchased five of these pastels through the "% for Art Program", for display in several new courthouses. Several years ago, he relocated his studio to Newport, New Hampshire. In 1997, he was the Lead-Artist for the Mural Project, a part of Newport's "Art Builds Community" commitment. These celebrate the town's history and involved local citizens, from age eight to eighty, who painted a series of large paintings around town.

Tapestry weaving has occupied much of the artist's work during the past thirty- four years. His grandmother taught him Scandinavian methods for tapestry. Many of his tapestries have won prizes. His tapestry, "Peaceweaver's Web", on exhibit at the Entler Hotel Gallery, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, was viewed by President Bill Clinton during the Israeli-Syrian Peace Conference in January 2000.

Bill Clinton and E. Thor Carlson at the Entler Hotel
President Bill Clinton with the Artist in front of The Peaceweaver's Web tapestry


The artist's nineteen most recent illustrations of 2003-2004 are from "Dante's Inferno". They are drawn in pastel, on paper, in sgrafitto, and as acrylic paintings. These were exhibited at the Hammond Gallery at Fitchburg State College in 2004 and at Worcester's Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2005.


Young struggling artists often have the problem of selling their art because it is such a part of themselves. This is a problem all artists have if they are sincere. Albert Ryder hated to have his work go to others and often took them back and worked on them some more. It's like having kids, at some point you have to let them go, and if you do they will come back and bless you.

-E. Thor Carlson


He has shown his work in major exhibits at the Worcester and Fitchburg Museums, at the gallery of the State Street Bank in Boston; also, Saint Peter's Lutheran Church on Madison Avenue, New York City, and in Dublin, at Sandymont. President Aemon DeValera purchased one of his works for the Vice Royal Gallery.

His works are in many public and private collections both in the U.S.A. and in Europe and North Africa. In addition to painting and drawing, he has done stone and wood sculpture. Saint Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont has, in it's library, one of his gilded wood sculptures which depicts many of the world's alphabets.


Starship Alpha-Omega
Starship Alpha-Omega at St. Michael's College
More info


He currently teaches the "Wednesday Group" in the Carriage House Studio at the Library Arts Center in Newport. He was asked to take over the group several years ago when it's original leader, well known British-American artist Aidron Duckworth, passed away.

-by Susan Cliver Purinton



Home - What's New
Site Search - Site Map 
 -  Contact Us

Page End Graphic

Copyright © 2007-2016 EThorCarlson.com.
All rights reserved.

Web site by Wild Goose Web Design

Privacy Policy