Osborne Theomun Olsen
Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971) circa 1930-1940
Sex: Male
Birth: June 9, 1883 (1883-06-09) (136 years ago)
Chicago, Illinois
Death: January 9, 1971 (age 87)
Chicago, Illinois
Burial: Acacia Park Cemetery
Chicago, Illinois
Father: Peter Olsen (1844-1892)
Mother: Anne Marie Jensen (1854-c1895)
Spouse/Partner: Augusta Schmidt (1883-1974)
Marriage: June 3, 1905 (age 21)
114 years ago
Chicago, Illinois
Children: Perry Olsen (1907-1974)
Evelyn Olsen (1909-2002)
8312014 109465563091

Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971) apple blossom pattern

Osborne 022a

Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971) rose pattern

Olsen-Osborne 1971 death

funeral notice

Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971) aka Asbjorn T. Olsen, aka Ozzie Olsen. He was the owner of Osborne Art Studios in Chicago which existed from 1910 to 1973. (b. June 09, 1883, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA - d. January 09, 1971, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, 60631, USA) Social Security Number 327304556.


His name was originally thought to be "Osborne Titaman Olsen" by the family. It was written in the World War I draft registration as "Osborne Theomun Olsen". This was discovered in 2006. On his birth certificate he was listed as "Oscar Olsen", or this may be a twin born on the same day that died.



Osborne was the third child of Anne Marie Jensen (1854-1896) and Peter Matthias Olsen (1849-1896). His birth certificate lists him as "Oscar Olson". His parents were listed as "Annie Jenshon Olson", age 29, and "Peter Olson", age 39, of Farsund, Norway.



His father died on August 24, 1896 of heat stroke during the 1896 Eastern North America heat wave. His mother died on November 22, 1896, 11 days later at age 42, of liver cancer. In the 1900 United States Census Osborne was living in the home of his aunt, Katrine Jensen (1857-1912).


He married Augusta Schmidt (1883-1974) aka Gussie Schmidt on June 03, 1905 in Chicago.



In the 1910 United States Census he listed himself as "working on his own account" under the name "Asbjorn T. Olsen". In 1914-1917 he appeared in the Chicago City Directory working at 2520 North Milwaukee Avenue and living at 6933 Overhill Avenue. He listed his occupation as "artist". He appeared in the 1920 United States Census living at 6933 Overhill Avenue in Chicago. In the 1922 Chicago City Directory he listed two addresses for his Studio. Osborne appeared on the 1930 United States Census living at 6935 Overhill Avenue in Chicago and working at his ceramic studio. He died on January 10, 1971 and his widow, Augusta, and his son, Perry continued the business until 1973.

Osborne Art StudioEdit

Osborne owned Osborne Art Studio in Chicago where he decorated ceramics and added gold and platinum trim. In 1910 he appeared in the Chicago City Directory living at "3025 George" and he listed his occupation as "decorator".

World War IEdit

He registered for the draft on September 18, 1918 under the name "Osborne Theomun Olsen". He listed his job as "china painting" at 2520 North Milwaukee Avenue. He had blue eyes and brown hair, and did not serve in World War I.


Osborne died in 1971 and his funeral notice appeared in the Chicago Tribune on January 11, 1971 and read as follows:

Osborne T. Olsen beloved husband of Augusta, nee Smith, fond father of Perry [Lavina] Olsen, Evelyn [Wilbur] Lamond; five grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren. Funeral Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. at the M.J. Suerth Funeral Home, 6754 Northwest Highway. Interment Acacia Park.


Many of his pieces are extant and archived with family members. A large collection belongs to the descendants of Arthur Bruce Jensen I (1888-1975) aka Jens Arthur Jensen who was the sales manager for Osborne Studios before World War I.

Research Edit

  • Crockery and Glass Journal, Volume 94, 1922: "Osborne Art Studios, creators and designers of high grade hand wrought china, have removed their studios and general offices from 2520 Milwaukee Ave. to larger and more convenient quarters at 2311-2313 Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, where they will have a well appointed show room, which permits the showing of many more samples than heretofore." [1]
  • Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson write the following for the Scripps Howard News Service: "Osborne Art Studios, which was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1910 by Osborne T. Olsen. At that time there were a number of companies decorating white china 'blanks' (e.g. pieces that are undecorated and therefore 'blank') in Chicago. The most famous of these was and is the Pickard China Company, whose work is highly prized by current collectors and can be very expensive. There is no question that Osborne did beautiful work, but he is often accused of being a Pickard copyist, and this tends to hurt the value of many Osborne pieces. It should also be noted that Osborne did not always use a backstamp on his pieces, and since they look so much like Pickard's work, this has caused much confusion among those who are interested in this type of ware."
  • Osborne also appeared in The Collector's Encyclopedia of Pickard China by Alan B. Reed, which had the following information: "Osborne was the only Chicago china artist of any stature to use his first name for his studio name and signature. He was born in Illinois of Norwegian parents in 1884 as Asbjorn T. Olsen. He Anglicized his first name early in his career, and by age 18 (1902) he was already decorating china professionally. In 1908 he married a girl his own age and they had two children, a boy and a girl. During the first seven or eight years of his career, he probably worked for one or more of the decorator wholesalers such as Pitkin & Brooks. Several antique dealers have insisted that he received his early training at Pickard. While not discounting these claims, diligent searches at antique shows and auctions and among private collections have turned up no example. Certainly, he was not one of Pickard's top artists nor was he ever Pickard's art director as a few dealers have claimed. By the time of the 1910 Census he describes himself as 'working on his own account', that is, he had his own china-decorating business in his home, and by 1914 he had opened a separate studio at 2520 North Milwaukee Avenue. Osborne did not use a backstamp on much of his product, being content to sign his name on the face of the piece, or in the case of all-over gold pieces, to scribe his signature on the bottom, In other cases, he used gummed foil labels that were easily removed after purchase. Therefore although he did employ other artists one cannot distinguish between unstamped pieces signed by an artist while working for Osborne and pieces which that artist may have made on a freelance basis. He does not seem to have encouraged - or perhaps even permitted - other artists to sign their work for him. An Osborne piece signed by anyone other than Osborne has yet to be found. Although he seems to have been devoted primarily to decorated china, he always characterized his studio as an 'art studio' and himself as simply an 'artist.' The studio was not a large one, and inasmuch as Osborne sold art supplies as well as decorated china from a store at the front of the building, he probably employed no more than six or eight china decorators at the studio's height. Nevertheless, he did employ some very good artists."

Memories about Osborne Theomun OlsenEdit

  • Selma Louise Freudenberg (1921-2009) remembered: "When I was little I visited Chicago with my uncle, Otto Winblad, and we stayed with a family and I thought they were related to us. They gave me a gold salt and pepper shaker that I still have, I may have been 8 or 9 and the year may have been 1929. He worked with gold, putting it on ceramic pieces. One of the people there was Leif Jensen (1886-1955)."
  • Norma Theda Olson (1935) said: "There was a person in the family that owned a china shop on the North West Highway in Chicago. He sold fancy plates. I lived at Nagle Avenue after I got married and that was near the North West Highway. My mother and I walked over there one day and the man who was home wasn't very friendly. We introduced ourselves as family then went home. I don't know how he was related or what his name was."


Osborne was buried on January 12, 1971 at Acacia Park Cemetery and Mausoleum. He was buried with his wife.

External linksEdit






Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971)'s ancestors in three generations
Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971) Father:
Peter Olsen (1844-1892)
Paternal Grandfather:
Ole Mattias Pedersen (1822-1914) of Klungeland
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Peder Andreas Hansen (1790-1849) of Log
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Maren Sophia Olsdatter (1791-1868) of Gullestad
Paternal Grandmother:
Thea Johanne Torstensdatter (1825-1864)
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Torsten Christophersen (1786-aft1825) of Vetteland
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Johanne Jacobsdatter (1795-?) of Lindtjørn
Anne Marie Jensen (1854-c1895)
Maternal Grandfather:
Jens Jacob Hansen (1823-1864)
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Hans Rejnert Johanneson (c1800-?)
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Asselene Jacobsen (c1800-?)
Maternal Grandmother:
Anna Marie Gabrielsdatter (1819-1888)
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Gabriel Gabrielson (c1795-?) of Lund
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Anna Margretha (c1795-?) of Skaugaard


  • 1883 Birth of Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971) in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, on June 09, 1883
  • 1896 Death of Peter Matthias Olsen (1849-1896), his father, from heat stroke, during the 1896 Eastern North America heat wave
  • 1896 Death of Anne Marie Jensen (1854-1896), his mother, of liver cancer, on November 22, 1896, 11 days after the death of his father
  • 1905 Marriage to Augusta Schmidt (1883-1974) on June 3, 1905
  • 1915 Copyright to Osborne Art Studios for paintings by masters on china. 21758.
  • 1922 Move Osborne Art Studios from 2520 Milwaukee Avenue to 2311-2313 Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago
  • 1971 Death of Osborne in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois on on January 09, 1971



This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Osborne Theomun Olsen. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.