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Catalog Number M-0043
Object Name Manuscript
Collection Emil Janel Collection
Title Emil Janel Collection
Year Range from 1959
Year Range to 2000
Scope & Content This collection is comprised primarily of photographs of Emil Janel's woodcarvings, but also contains correspondence and publications about him. Most of the materials were collected by Maxwell Galleries in San Francisco, California; the Thomas Seal book, the "Augustus Dingle" scrapbook, and some of the correspondence were donated by the Temple family.
Biographical Information Emil Gottfred Janel (September 21, 1897–May 1981) was a Swedish-born, American artist. Although he was a respected still life painter, he is mainly known for his caricatures in the Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving, and is considered by many to be one of the best of this genre. Janel was born in the village Hansjö near Orsa Municipality in Dalarna County, Sweden. In 1923, Janel moved to Canada, then to Seattle, United States. After some encouragement by a local store keeper, he eventually settled in San Francisco with his wife and began study at what is now the San Francisco Art Institute. During the 1930s, he spent considerable time at Russian River, where he produced carvings of a local species of Alder Wood. It is said that he preferred that particular medium because of the similarity to flesh tones, and that he kept his carvings in a bucket of water to keep them wet while working on them. He used very thin aniline dyes on the non-flesh portions of his carvings. Emil is said to have referred to his style as "exaggerated realism." In 1965 he was awarded The Royal Order of Vasa (Kungliga Vasaorden) by the King of Sweden for his artistic contributions. In 1981, Emil Janel died in San Francisco. Over 35 Janel carvings are part of the permanent collection of the American Swedish Institute, donated by collector, artist and author Ira Weissman.
People Janel, Emil G., 1897-1981.
Series in Collection Collection is arranged in 5 series; folder names listed in parenthesis.

1. Exhibitions (Exhibit Brochures and Booklets)

2. Publications (Clippings; Clippings of Similar Woodcarvers; Dalfolk Guide Book; Magazines and Newsletters; "Master American Woodcarver" Book and Related Clippings; Autographed Copy of "The Life and Works of Emil Janel" by Thomas C. Seal; Radio Script)

3. Correspondence (Correspondence Between ASI and Maxwell Galleries; Correspondence to Emil Janel; Correspondence with Ira Weissman; Temple family correspondence)

4. Vasa Order (Vasa Order Materials)

5. Photographs (Emil Janel, San Francisco, 1982; "Janel" Scrapbook; "Augustus Dingle" scrapbook; Photographs Related to Woodcarvings by Janel; Photograph Album for Janel's Birthday, 1973; Portraits of Emil Janel; Unidentified Photographs; Woodcarvings; Woodcarvings: Color Negatives)
Physical Dimensions 1.0 cubic feet (1 archives box)
Copyrights Copyright for this collection is held by the American Swedish Institute. Staff will provide photocopies of collection materials for personal use at researcher's expense. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials must be secured in writing from the American Swedish Institute.