Altar Painting

Our altar painting depicts Jesus’ rescue of Peter from the raging sea. It was painted by Swedish-American artist Herman Sodersten and dedicated in 1890.

Herman Sodersten: A brief biography

Herman Sodersten was born on July 12, 1862 in the city of Filipstad in Sweden. His parents were Nils Sodersten, a tailor by profession, and Stina Lisa Nilsdotter.At the age of eight, Herman and his family moved to Karlskoga. His Uncle, Johannes Sodersten, encouraged him in the field of art. From 1881-1887, Herman studied at the Academy of Art in Stockholm, Sweden. His artwork during the time he was in Sweden consisted mainly of landscapes. Many of his paintings were from the city of Karlskoga and its surrounding areas. Herman Sodersten’s early paintings from Karlskoga are of great documentary value. To finance his studies he painted many portraits, farms and views over the city. Some of the paintings are now found in Minnesota and Michigan, where people who emigrated from Karlskoga took the paintings with them to the US as a reminder of home. Herman then continued his studies in Paris.His father and older brothers had emigrated to the United States ( New Haven, Connecticut). He left Paris for a short visit to New Haven in 1889 where he met his wife-to-be, Amanda Peterson. He then settled in Connecticut.After moving to the United States, he became a well-known portrait painter. He painted several official portraits for the Capital Building in Hartford, Connecticut including governors and Lieutenant Governors. He also painted other noted subjects such as the Mayor of New Haven and Professor S.W. Johnson of Yale University. His paintings are represented in Memorial Hall and Sheffield Scientific Hall both located in New Haven.Herman Sodersten participated in an exhibition in 1886 in Gothenburg, Sweden and later in exhibitions in New Haven, Hartford and in New York. Sodersten was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in Hartford, of the New Haven Paint and Clay Club and the Society of Independent Artists in New York City.He died on July 2, 1926 in New Haven, Connecticut.