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Nygard, Alfred sculptor

Replies: 5

Re: Nygard, Alfred sculptor

Posted: 1326016190000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1326081344000
Surnames: Nygard
RE: Alfred F. Nygard (b. 1861 Denmark - d. 17 May 1941, Grand Rapids)


I too am researching Alfred F. Nygard. He designed and sculpted the plaster work, as well as the wood carvings, in what was the Powers' Theatre Grand Rapids in 1902. After arriving from Denmark in 1887 with his wife and son they settled New York City for a few months before relocating to Grand Rapids. He was a wood carver with the Universal Tripod Furniture Company, then becoming Royal Furniture Company by 1893. Shortly after his wife dies in 1893 he and his son William R. move to Detroit. His son William R. Nygard was a styled a Plasterer. By 1937 William Nygard marries and settles Lansing, Michigan.

I'm trying to find other projects Alfred may have been commissioned for in Grand Rapids. Maybe some of his work survives. I know he was perfecting Staff Plaster back then that was new to America, popular in Europe. He would design, carve and make the molds in his Detroit studio (1902). Once the molds complete he arrived in Grand Rapids where a special room was setup in the Powers Plaster Mine and Factory was on the Grand River to cast the Staff Plaster.

In July 1929 he moved back to Grand Rapids to settle for good. Alfred F. (1861-1941), his wife Alma Julia (1858-1893), son William R. (1883-1964) and William's wife Maribel (1883-1967) are buried in Oakhill Cemetery, Grand Rapids.

I also read somewhere Alfred was was a close personal friend and very active with Edsel Ford and Fordson Village, also known as Fordville or Edselville. I wonder in Greenfield Village may have records on him?

He also worked on carving in the Edsel Ford "Honeymoon Cottage".

I also have a news article from the Grand Rapids Herald dated: 8 Dec 1929 I found in the Biographical Vertical File GRPL - Grand Rapids Public Library has on Alfred Nygard. I can digitally send it your way.

The news article I have mentioned he was commissioned by James Scripps to work on his residence on Trumbull Ave... Some time around 1910 I believe Alfred was teaching at Cranbrook Arts & Crafts School of Detroit but for only a few years...

Cranbrook Digital Collections - Scripps Trumbull Avenue Residence

Cranbrook Digital Collections - Trumbull Avenue House

I'm in the process of tracking down his family descendants to possibly get a photo of Alfred.

Would love to know what you may have found.

Jim Winslow
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
jandurecki 1267136588000 
James Winslow 1326016190000 
ThomasBrunk 1358734380000 
tibor118 1326560503000 
Jeff Morrison 1488295673000 
jandurecki 1488488793000 
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