Birger Sandzén was born in Blidsberg, Sweden in 1871. He studied art in Stockholm with Anders Zorn and Richard Berg and for approximately three months in Paris with Edmond François Aman-Jean. In 1894, he came to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, to teach languages and assist in the art department and vocal music department. He remained at Bethany for the remainder of his career, becoming the principal art instructor in 1899 and retiring in 1946. Throughout this period, and after he retired as Professor Emeritus, he was a prolific painter and printmaker until his death in 1954. During his lifetime he completed in excess of 2600 oil paintings and 500 watercolors. He created 207 lithographs, 94 block prints and 27 drypoints, which when the editions are totaled amount to over 33,000 prints.