Ski Art: Aina Stenberg (1885-1975)


An indefatigable greeting card artist, Aina Stenberg is known for her bright colors, clean graphics and portrayal of local Swedish fashion and folk art.

Stenberg2Aina Stenberg is one of the most prolific Christmas, New Year and Easter greeting card artists. It is said that she completed 5,000 cards. She is also well known for her portrayal of Swedish folk art and as a book illustrator.

Stenberg was born in Stockholm on October 6, 1885, and studied at the city’s Technical School before going on to Althins Målarskola. Althin’s Painting School, founded in 1896 by artist and teacher Caleb Althin, prepared students for admission to the prestigious Stockholm Arts Academy, founded in 1735. Stenberg studied there from 1904 to 1907. She also traveled to France and England.

At the academy, she met Helmer Masolle. They married in 1911 and moved to Dalarna, some 225 miles northwest of Stockholm. This county held a special place in the new foundations of Swedish nationalism; it seemed to provide the quality of life of “true” Sweden. Many motifs that Stenberg painted show the special clothing of the locals, and the Dalarna horse is much in evidence. These two images illustrate Stenberg’s clear lines and dramatic use of vibrant color. The couple from Rättvik is undated but skijoring behind a Dalarna horse is from 1920.