Johann Berthelsen (1883-1972)

Hiro Fine Art is interested in purchasing artworks by Johann Berthelsen.

Johann Berthelsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to Conrad and Dorothea Karen Berthelsen. Johann was the youngest of seven children and was exposed to the arts at a young age. His father, Conrad was a tenor with the Royal Opera. His parents divorced when he was a young child and he and his siblings emigrated with his mother to Michigan before settling in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Johann showed an interest in the arts at an early age. His early focus was in music, so he moved to Chicago when he was eighteen to study at the Chicago Musical College. He went on a full scholarship and won several awards as he was lead baritone for the Standard Opera Company.

Johann Berthelsen toured throughout North America singing in Operas. He became a well known fixture on the music scene and taught at the Chicago Music College. He began to paint during this time and became friends with the artist Svend Svendsen.

In 1913, Berthelsen moved to Indianapolis, Indiana to become the head of the voice department at the Indiana Conservatory of Music. While in Indianapolis, Berthelsen became friends with the artist Wayman Adams. They moved to New York City in 1920 looking to advance their careers. Adams paintings became more inspired and some of his best work came during this time. Berthelsen continued to teach music and had several well known singers come through his classes at the Rodin Studios. Johann would paint watercolors and pastels during his free time and was elected to the American Watercolor Society in 1926. He married his most well known student, Helenya Kaschewski in 1928.

After the stock market crash of 1929, Johann began to fall on hard financial times. He began to lose students and several theaters would close. To generate another source of income he began to paint oil paintings. He became incredibly popular and known for his snow scenes of New York City. Several important collectors began purchasing his work, including Randolph Hearst from the magazine empire. He created several iconic views of Central Park in different seasons and periods during the day.

Johann Berthelsen became a full time artist and was incredibly prolific. Creating energetic and impressionistic scenes of New York that can be found in several important public and private collections throughout the world.


  • 1883 – Born in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1890 – Emigrated to America and settled in Manitowoc, Wisconsin
  • 1900 – Moved to Chicago, Illinois
  • 1913 – Moved to Indianapolis, Indiana and became head of the voice department at the Indiana Conservatory of Music
  • 1920 – Moved to New York City
  • 1930s – Became a full time artist