Who is Andrew Severin Gunderson

In 2020, the Monee Historical Society dedicated the roundabout at Court Street and Egyptian Trail in honor of local artist Andrew Severin Gunderson. 

Andrew Severin Gunderson was born June 16,1888 in Wallingford, Iowa and died September 4,1964 in Monee, Illinois where he lived and worked most of his adult life. 

He had minimal formal schooling and was completely self-taught in art. Despite this, he became a professional artist in Chicago at age 15, and had his own studio at age 18. He also had an art store in Chicago (the A. Gunderson Art Company). In 1915 he moved to Monee, Illinois and set up a studio in his home.

He intentionally priced his artwork low as he felt that everyone needed beauty in their lives. He worked predominantly in pastels, as he felt oils took too long to dry. For many years he sold his pastels through Vilas-Mages catalogues and at Marshall Field’s in Chicago. 

Most of his pastels are landscapes and were created from his imagination. There is almost always water in his images along with trees, often white birch trees.In addition, his pastels often had a log cabin or Indian tepee in the scene. Despite retiring in the late 1950s, he never completely stopped creating. 

Gunderson is buried in St Paul’s cemetery and his home studio still stands adjacent to the roundabout to this day.