1925 – 2013

E. Thor CarlsonE. Thor Carlson in his Studio

Visit the late E. Thor Carlson’s website of contemporary American art featuring images real and imaginary, drawings, paintings, graphics, sculpture, and tapestry since the 1940s through 2007



E. Thor Carlson was born in Gardner, Massachusetts on September 18, 1925. He has drawn since childhood and began to paint in oils at the age of ten. His first murals were painted in 1942-43 for the Gardner High School auditorium. Upon graduation, he received a scholarship to attend the Art School of the Worcester Art Museum. His studies were interrupted by WWII and a hitch in the Navy as a Sea Bee in the South Pacific.

Abstract Non-Objective by E. Thor Carlson

While overseas, he took his entrance exams for Yale’s School of Fine Arts. He began there in 1946. Before graduation, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year’s study at the Academia in Florence to study fresco painting. Returning to Yale, he completed his fifth and final year. He graduated ‘In Primi Honoris’ with a BFA in painting (1951).

Thor Carlson has shown his work in major exhibits at the Worcester and Fitchburg Museums, at the gallery of the State Street Bank in Boston; also, Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church on Madison Avenue, New York City, and in Dublin, at Sandymont. President Aemon DeValera purchased one of his works for the Vice Royal Gallery.

His works are in many public and private collections both in the U.S.A. and in Europe and North Africa. In addition to painting and drawing, he has done tapestry weaving, stone and Starship Alpha Omega, his gilded wood sculpture which depicts many of the world’s alphabets.

He created 21 illustrations for Houghton & Mifflin’s first American version of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.


Han’s Woodland Scene

Han's Woodland Scene by E. Thor Carlson

Morning Woods

Morning Woods by E. Thor Carlson

Pines and Lady Slippers

Pines and Lady Slippers by E. Thor Carlson

Magic Forest

Magic Forest by E. Thor Carlson

Spring Song

Spring Song by E. Thor Carlson

Wood by the Lake

Wood-by-the-Lake by E. Thor Carlson