Biruta Hansen

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Biruta Hansen

United States

Biruta Akerbergs Hansen

Artist, 2- and 3-Dimensional;


·       Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, BA in Biology

·       Cooper Union for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences, New York

·       Various supplementary art courses:  Art Students’ League, New York; Penland School for Arts and Crafts, Ashland, NC; Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, PA; Pilchuck School for Glass, Seattle, WA; Colley Whisson mentorship, Tucson At Academy 


·       Smithsonian Institution: Museum Specialist.  Responsibilities divided between scientific illustrator and museum specialist. 

·       Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria:  Lecturer, Biology.  1973-1974.

·       Niger Republic:  Peace Corps Volunteer.  Served in Public Health Education, Adult Literacy; Visual Materials Developer for public health workers in several countries in West Africa.


Selected projects: 

·       Hampden Medical Center, 4' x 18' acrylic painting on three 4' x 6' panels, commissioned by Aesthetics, Inc. Panorama of the Susquehanna River.   

·       Bass Pro Shops:  Painted numerous large-scale murals with acrylics directly onto 20 x 240 foot walls.  Researched and designed the art with the goal of creating an environment specific to local habitat in various locations in the US and Canada.

·       Presenter at Guild of Natural Science Illustrators’ 50th Anniversary International Conference, Washington, DC 2018. My presentation, “Murals: Minuscule to Monumental, My Journey” highlighted my career transition from microscopic scientific illustration in major natural history museums, to painting large scale murals, often reaching 5,000 square feet.

·       Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, Springfield, MO: Painted museum quality murals in dioramas showcasing wildlife and their habitat in varied environments world wide. Careful research was involved.  The meticulous painting was executed during construction of the museum. Continuous to opening in 2017.

·       “Canal Days” mural, Newport, PA: Prominently located on the square in Newport, PA, the colorful mural depicts a glimpse of what an ordinary day along the canal in 1885 might have looked like. The scene was chosen to highlight the importance of the of canal in the history of commerce in Pennsylvania. Painted on boards 10’ x 11’, mounted to wall.

·       International House, Harrisburg, PA:  Two murals, acrylics on canvas, 2,000 miles across North Africa, 3’ x 14’ and View of Serengeti, 4’ x 5’.

·       Millyard Museum, Manchester Historic Association, New Hampshire:  Painting for exhibit Woven in Time, 11,000 Years at Amoskeag Falls, reproduced final size 8 feet x 17 feet. 

·       Indianapolis Zoological White River Garden:  Finalist with R. Stanaway for Indianapolis Zoo rotunda competition, 1997.  Proposed glass castings of native foliage woven with miniature stainless steel cables into a helix, a vortex that was to begin at the floor and swoop into the heights of the for 50-foot high rotunda.

·       FAO Schwarz:  Finalist, Proposal for Murals celebrating childhood and toys in twelve 8 foot x 12 foot windows along Madison Avenue, 58th and 59th Streets.

Selected publications, exhibitions, commissions:

 ·       National Geographic Society:  Created Pop-up books from conception to finished product.  Parading with Piglets and Blue, Blue, and Yellow, Too.  Executed and supervised all stages, from concept, text, art, paper engineering, manufacturing in Colombia, South America, to importing to the US.

·       Whitaker Center for Arts and Science, Harrisburg, PA:  Exhibits of paintings of insects and other creatures commissioned by National Geographic, National Wildlife, Smithsonian Inst., etc. Backyard Monsters, 2006; Anniversary exhibit, 2009.

·       Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC: Ten year continuous exhibit of original paintings at the National Museum of Natural History 1992-2002. Ten paintings of butterflies and their flowers were commissioned by the Smithsonian National Zoological Park as part of their graphics project to promote the public’s interest in butterfly gardening, both at the zoo and in the home garden.

·       Suzanne H. Arnold Gallery, Annville, PA:  Exhibited fine art works as part of Women as Mythmakers.  1996.

·       Various Group Exhibits through 2019: 

     American Association for the Advancement of Science Art Gallery

     Art of the State, PA

     Art Association of Harrisburg: “Best of Show”, honorable mention awards.

     Bharat Bhavan International Print Biennial, Bhopal, India

     Biohistory Research Hall, Takatsuki City, Osaka, Japan

     Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA

     Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.

     National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC

     National Arboretum, Washington, DC    

     Perry County Council of the Arts, PA


·       Publishers:

     Harper and Row

     National Geographic Society

     National Wildlife Federation

     Prentice Hall, Reader’s Digest

     Scientific American

     Simon & Schuster

     Smithsonian Institution

     Smithsonian Magazine

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 16th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.