Artist Biography

1882 - 1958

Gustave F. Liljestrom was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1882. He came to the United States in 1902. With his older brother, he pursued copper mining in Arizona. Inspired by scenery of the Southwest, he opted to become a painter and moved to Chicago where he enrolled at the Art Institute. Several years were spent in the Orient studying Chinese painting, sculpture and architecture. Upon moving to San Francisco in 1909, he was hired as a designer and Oriental expert for Gump's. While working there he continued exhibiting locally and making painting forays into the western deserts and mountains. During the 1930s he instituted a series of exhibitions by "The Group of Eight" comprised of Frank T. Johnson, Edgar Payne, Harold Wagner, Armin Hansen, William Ritschell, Arthur Hill Gilbert, William Wendt, and himself. In 1936 he assisted Frank Van Sloun with the set of eight murals in the rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts. Liljestrom died in San Francisco on August 26, 1958. Member: Bohemian Club; Society for Sanity in Art. Exhibited: Gump's (San Francisco), 1913; Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915 (Grand Canyon); California State Fair, 1930 (Navajo Land); Bohemian Club, 1935-46; Society for Sanity in Art, California Palace of Legion of Honor, 1939; Marin County Show, California Historical Society, 1969. Works held: Museum of New Mexico; Bohemian Club; Fifth Avenue Theater, Seattle, WA (Oriental interior); First Christian Church, Oakland (mural); Shasta State Historical Monument.

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