Current Exhibit: Harry Lindstrand

Our current exhibit in the Balentine Gallery features beautiful works by Harry Lindstrand. The exhibit showcases works owned by Creative Arts, as well as pieces on loan from the Wells County Public Library and from Bill and Linda Hambrick. Read more about Lindstrand below, and be sure to stop by the gallery to see this exhibit on display October 2 through October 17.

Balentine Gallery hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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About Harry Lindstrand:

Harry Lindstrand was the son of Swedish immigrants, Carl Arvid and Anna (Dahl) Lindstrand. His parents married in Chicago in 1908 and Harry was born there on Dec. 29, 1909. The family moved to Bluffton in 1917 where his father worked at the Estey Piano Factory. He had two younger sisters, Phoebe and Irene.

Harry may have laughingly admitted to drawing on wallpaper as a boy, but he credited his Bluffton High School teacher, Alice Peters, with urging him to attend art school. After graduating in 1928, Harry spent the next five years attending evening classes at The Chicago Art Institute while working during the day for Sears & Roebuck.

It is interesting to imagine Harry struggling as a freelance artist during the Great Depression in the Windy City. He found work with several companies during those years. Between1934 and 1936 he worked at night retouching photographs for the Chicago Sun newspaper. He also trained at the

Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art. Harry returned to Bluffton and married Dorothy McAfee on Dec. 24, 1936 when he was 27 years old. The couple moved to her father’s Rockcreek Township farm in 1941 and the big city artist spent the next 14 years farming and raising Guernsey cattle.

But Harry never gave up art. Between 1944 and 1954, he was the editorial artist for the American Guernsey Cattle Club in New Hampshire. He illustrated stories for their magazine and advertising campaigns.

In 1953, Harry (in his mid 40s) and Dorothy moved to Bluffton where he began an advertising business. He designed industrial trademarks for several area businesses, including the original Blue Flame Gas symbol. Those who remember eating at The Dutch Mill Restaurant saw samples of his work on their menus. He also illustrated medical equipment for the Caylor-Nickel Research Institute. After he retired, Harry became a prolific painter, working mostly in watercolor. He and Dorothy traveled frequently and his paintings provide a colorful map of their journeys: Puget Sound, Massachusetts; Chinle, Arizona; Hazelhurst, Wisconsin; Carter, Montana; Ulvik, Norway. Harry suffered a “massive heart seizure” and passed away on May 11, 1987 at the age of 77. He is buried in the Elm Grove Cemetery, Bluffton.

Information obtained via the Wells County Public Library. This information was gathered from the Wells County, Indiana Family History, 1937-1992 (published by the Wells County Historical Society) and Harry Lindstrand’s obituary from the Bluffton News-Banner (published May 11, 1987)