Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Bernhard Berntsen - Fine Arts
  • Date ca. 1968
  • Place of Origin Falls Church, Virginia
  • Creator Bernhard Berntsen

A note that is written by Bernhad Berntsen and accompanies this painting states, “It was a hard winter that year. Painted in Brooklyn, New York, 84th Street and 11th Avenue.”

Berntsen was born in Oslo in 1900. He worked as a galley boy on the S.S. Bergensfjord, signing off in New York City in 1919. He moved to Chicago and became involved with many of the city’s Norwegian-American organizations. Through these clubs, he dabbled in the arts. His profession was building scaffolding around skyscrapers to facilitate construction or repairs. In 1928 he moved to Brooklyn to join the Chrysler Building scaffolding crew.

Berntsen often sketched coworkers, or people that he saw on the street during his lunch break. He won a scholarship to study at the Art Students’ League and took evening classes from John Stuart Curry. Throughout his lifetime, Berntsen participated in many solo and group exhibitions, including a show in his hometown of Oslo in 1984. Berntsen died in 1992.

Vesterheim has more than 150 artworks by Bernhard Berntsen, mostly oil paintings and crayon drawings on newspaper.

  • Materials Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions height, 31 inches; width, 37 inches
  • Identifier / Source 1984.056.004 - Museum Purchase
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