401 North First Street
P.O. Box 348
Lindsborg, Kansas 67456-0348
P: (785) 227-2220
Plan Your Visit
- The Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Gallery is closed on Mondays and the following holidays: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
- COVID-19 precautions: Please do not visit if you are showing symptoms of the virus, also we ask that you wear a facial mask or shield, sign our guestbook, practice appropriate social distancing, and avoid touching artwork and surfaces.
- Docent tours have been temporarily halted due to the COVID pandemic. Otherwise, tours for adult, college age, high school, middle school, and elementary school groups are available with preferably a two-week advance appointment with the gallery.
- Small group tours of the Sandzén studio have also been temporarily halted due to the COVID pandemic.
- Gallery etiquette encourages visitors to be respectful of the artwork and their surroundings when coming to the Gallery or during guided tours. Young children should be supervised. We encourage all to ask questions, and if during a guided tour please raise your hand so as not to interrupt. We ask that no one touch the artwork and also to stay more than an arm’s length away from the paintings.
- Director: Ron Michael
- Curator: Cori Sherman North
- Administrative Assistant: Muriel Gentine
History of the Gallery
Fulfilling an artist and teacher’s dream, the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery was built in 1957 and directs the work of the Birger Sandzén Memorial Foundation.
The idea for a gallery to honor Birger Sandzén was initially launched in 1955 with the incorporation of the Birger Sandzén Memorial Foundation: its primary purpose being to construct an art gallery in memory of Birger Sandzén on the Bethany College campus. Incorporators of the Foundation were Sandzén’s daughter, Margaret Sandzén Greenough; his son-in-law, Charles Pelham Greenough, 3rd. of Lindsborg; and W. D. P. Carey of Hutchinson. Serving with them on the initial board of directors were Bethany College President Robert Mortvedt, John F. Hayes, William H. Taylor, Sr., and Ray V. Stapp. The gallery was made possible through a large donation made by Dr. and Mrs. Charles Pelham Greenough, 3rd., as well as numerous donations from friends of the Foundation.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday, August 29, 1956 to begin construction of what would be the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery. The officiating minister was Rev. Elmer Danielson and participants in the ceremony included Mrs. Birger Sandzén, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Pelham Greenough, 3rd, and Dr. Robert Mortvedt. A flag raising ceremony and recital was held on Bethany College’s Founders Day on October 15, 1957.
The architects for the Gallery were Robert Wehrli and Harold D. Engstrom of Casper, Wyoming. Initial work began on August 1, 1956, with the building being constructed of steel, wood, and a red brick veneer facing 65 feet wide by 149 feet long. The gallery originally contained ten exhibition areas which include two corridors, two large rooms, four smaller rooms, a sculpture hall and a library. The architects’ design provides an extensive exhibition area and a climate-controlled environment to protect the art. Actual construction of the gallery was completed by Johnson Brothers Construction Company of Salina, Kansas.
The Gallery was dedicated on Sunday, October 20, 1957 in a service conducted by Rev. N. Everett Hedeen and Bethany College President Robert Mortvedt. It was held in the Thorsén Room, named in honor of Prof. Emeritus Johan Oscar Thorsén. The gallery officially opened to the public on Tuesday, November 12, 1957 with the first exhibition being a retrospective of art by Birger Sandzén from 1910 to 1952.
The Gallery’s Function
The Sandzén Gallery exhibits artwork by its namesake, Birger Sandzén throughout the year. Works from its permanent collection, historic and loaned exhibitions, as well as active contemporary artists are also displayed.
Special programs, chamber music concerts, poetry readings, gallery talks and special member events are also a part of the yearly calendar.
The Gallery also actively loans paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture from the permanent collection for exhibitions in galleries and museums nationwide.