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Haahr, Louis J.
b. 1921; d. May 1945
Discipline: Drawing/Illustration, Painting

Louis J. Haahr was born and raised in Grand Forks and in 1938, at the age of seventeen, he entered the University of North Dakota. He had been interested in painting and drawing since he was a young child and, as such, enrolled in the university’s art department.

Haahr’s entrance into military service in 1942 (one term short of graduation) did nothing to dampen his artistic pursuits. He created a set of murals for the Regimental Day Room at Fort McClellan in Alabama and produced several drawings of camps, his fellow officers and soldiers, and battle scenes. While stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was offered a post as artist on the staff of Fort Benning Publications. He declined and instead asked permission to rejoin his regiment.

That decision proved to be a fateful one. He was sent, with his regiment, to the South Pacific and in May 1945, he was killed in action at Mindanao in the Philippines.

In his memory, the Haahr family donated almost a hundred of his pieces to the Art Department at the University of North Dakota. The Louis J. Haahr Memorial Collection consists of work in pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, pastel, and oil and covers a wide range of subjects including portraits, landscapes, battle scenes, costume illustrations, and prints.

- Ben Nemenoff


Barr, Paul E. North Dakota Artists. Grand Forks: University of North Dakota Library, 1954.
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