John Conrad Hansen

I started today in a rotten mood. Rotten. Phooey. I went to the Field Museum and it helped disspel that state. One of the things I love is that in the hallways that I walk through to get to the zoology prep lab, there are some great little display cases. This is one of my favorites. It's a case that has original paintings by this old Field illustrator, John Conrad Hansen. It's hard to be grumpy while gazing upon little elephanthippos, and wooly mammoths. And really, Mr. Hansen looks like he had the potential to beat me at grumpiness any day of the week.


  1. I have four things to say:

    1) I could not tell you were in a rotten mood. But I am very glad it didn't last past your time at the Field.

    2) You inspired me in two ways today: one, with that photo of the wooly mammoths on your phone and two, with your inquiry about whether I'd written anything lately. So:

    3) The fact that we have matching posts this evening is entirely to your credit. Also to your credit, the fact that I am now the owner of one very awesome little dubbelbeckasin painting. :) Thank you again.

    4) Elephanthippos!

  2. Thanks for sharing these lovely paintings. I love all the interesting tidbits you highlight on your blog. Hope you're having a better day today!

  3. Meera: It's really hard to be in a bad mood when I step into the bird lab. I had shed most of it during my walk down the long, dark hallway between the lab and the N elevator. Also, elephanthippos are a great mood enhancer. Dubbelbeckasin!

    Anne-Marie: Thanks so much for checking in, and yes...much better day : )

  4. John Conrad Hansen lived in the home of my grandparents in the Logan Square area of Chicago and rented a room there which no doubt helped my grandfather, a retired clergyman to help pay off his mortgage. As kids we used to visit him as he worked on very fine drawings of fossils discovered in the Grand Canyon area. We used to visit the Field Museum and it got to the point that we didn't have to see the signature to instantly tell it was one of Conrad Hansen's illustrations. Wish we could get some of his illustrations - they were usually very delicate, small sketches that used to be in the exhibit cases.

  5. Hi Don - Thanks for sharing that. How fantastic that you had such a wonderful connection to him. I would love to have an original of his too. I covet the ones that are on display in the hallway on the third floor of the Field. It's a pretty big display case that has about 15 small paintings in it.

  6. I have a large Painting of the woods and mountains of Western USA somewhere, his work is fantastic,, I am surprised he is not listed more in the major art sites.. Cody

  7. i just googled John Conrad Hansen because I am trying to figure out who this man was that asked my grandmother to pose for him in 1946. She was 17 at the time and it's a wonderful portrait of her. It's currently hanging in our dining room and is a family treasure :)

  8. While cleaning out the home of my Aunt ( and before her Grandparents and Great Grandparents, house in family over 100 years) in Logan Square last winter we found paintings of John Conrad Hansen. One very large one is of Fjords in Norway where my Grandparents were from and one was a portrait of my Great Grandfather, there are several small sketches and paintings as well as many articles and pictures of him, one just like the one posted at the top of your blog.
    We are very interested in knowing more about him. If anyone has more info please pass it on.
    We have figured out that he was a friend of my Grandfather who was also an artist and architectural designer in Chicago at the same time.
    It is facinating to know that he painted murals and paintings for the museum. Are there any still there and where are they? We'd like to stop and see them next time we are in Chicago.
    Thanks for the blog that put a sparkle in out day!


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