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Online Artist Archive

Lorentzen, Henry
b. 1900; d. 1997
Discipline: Drawing/Illustration, Painting

Having lived his entire life near Washburn, Henry Lorentzen was strongly influenced by the Missouri River and other natural surroundings.

A farmer and rancher by trade, he had no formal art training. He set up his studio on bluffs overlooking the river and from there, produced numerous landscapes in pastel-colored oils, watercolors, pen and ink, and pencil.

Some of his work depicts a Missouri River that was largely untouched and resembled some of the views seen by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. Other images illustrate comfort and security, featuring log cabins nestled into hills or cowboys standing tall and alone on the prairie.

He was married to Grace Barlow in 1931. The marriage produced two daughters, Yvonne and Estell, and two sons, Ross and Norman. Following in her father’s artistic footsteps, Yvonne earned an art degree from the University of Indiana in Bloomington and practiced art as a missionary in Ecuador.

- Ben Nemenoff

Lorentzen Paintings
Lorentzen Painting
Lorentzen Painting
Lorentzen Painting
Lorentzen Painting
Lorentzen Painting
book cover“Daddy Was an Artist” is a delightful book by Yvonne Lorentzen McGuire, daughter of Henry, and is the first on the subject of the Lorentzen family in North Dakota. Recently published in January of 2014 is “Homestead Memories on Buffalo Paunch Creek”, the “prequel”, to “Daddy Was An Artist”. It is the story of Lorentz and Martha, Henry’s pioneer parents, and his boyhood home. It is a treasure for those researching the movements of Norwegian settlers at the turn of the 20th century. Pioneer life is under the microscope as the author takes you from room to room in the old cabin, examining its contents. For current information on the Lorentzen family, and an interchange between art collectors, (including current photographs of happy 'art owners' displaying their Henry Lorentzen collector pieces,) please visit our Facebook page: Henry Lorentzen. To order the books, prints or notecards please visit the website


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

Erickson, Vern. “Inspiration, Lewis and Clark in North Dakota: An Artist’s View.” Bismarck Tribune, 1997.

McLeanCountyHeritage, McLean County, North Dakota. Washburn: McLean County Historical Society, 1978.

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