A Finding Aid to the Carl Oscar Borg Scrapbooks, 1903-1955, in the Archives of American Art

Collection ID:
Borg, Carl Oscar, 1879-1947
Physical Description:
0.3 Linear feet
This collection consists of three scrapbooks dating from 1903 to 1955 containing mostly newspaper clippings which document the career of California artist Carl Oscar Borg, particularly his work as art director for Hollywood films.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of three scrapbooks compiled by Borg, and after his death by his widow, Lily Borg Elmberg. These contain newspaper clippings from the U.S. and Sweden, documenting Borg's lifelong career as a painter and printmaker since his arrival in Los Angeles in 1903. One scrapbook, 1925-1938, highlights his role as supervising art director for the1926 silent film, The Black Pirate starring actor Douglas Fairbanks. Also included are articles about his years working in the silent movie industry (1925-1928) as the art director of films, Black Pirate, The Gaucho, The Night of Love, The Magic Flame, Two Lovers, and The Iron Mask.

Volumes are divided into three main categories: I. Los Angeles Years (1903-1935), II. Silent movies and trip to Sweden (1925-1938), and III. Sweden and Santa Barbara years (1935-1955). The dates of a number of the newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs found in the scrapbooks overlap. In addition, Scrapbook I, 1903-1935, is in fragile condition and should be handled with care.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Self taught Swedish-American artist Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947) began his career as a sign painter in New York. He emigrated to the United States from Stockholm, Sweden in 1901, settling in Los Angeles in 1903 where he became active in the emerging Los Angeles art community. He became the protogé of Phoebe Apperson Hearst (mother of William Randolph Hearst) whose support and endorsement enabled him to study in Europe. He established himself as a serious artist after World War II working in the fields of print, film and painting, enabling him to secure a place among the Los Angeles artistic elite. Borg specialized in painting the Southwestern Hopi and Navajo Indians. He also painted mariners and the seal hunting scenes which took place in Channel Island near Santa Barbara. He was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Academy of Arts, the Sociéte Internationale des Beaux Arts (Paris) and the prestigious Salmagundi Club. He traveled to Sweden in 1939, remaining there until the end of World War II. Upon his return to California, he settled in Santa Barbara where he remained until his death in 1947.

Alternative Forms Available
This collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reel 5671 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Processing Information
Processing of the collection was completed June 26, 2000 by Rosa M. Fernández at the Archives of American Art, Washington, DC.
Rosa M. Fernández
The collection was donated in 1998 by Helen Laird, who received the papers from Borg's widow, Lily Borg Elmberg in preparation for a biography on Carl Oscar Borg.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Carl Oscar Borg scrapbooks, 1903-1955. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion picture industry Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Silent films Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- Sweden Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California -- Santa Barbara Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion picture art directors -- California Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001