Hjalmar Amundsen 1911-1946

Boats At Harbor

He was born Caspar Hjalmar Emerson III in  New York City in 1911, and in 1946 legally changed his name to Hjalmar Amundsen in honor of his great-uncle, explorer Ronald Amundsen, who located the magnetic center of the South Pole.He was in his early twenties when he first began painting, claiming that he only did so, because it was  easier than any other work he could think of.  Amundsen loved the sea, and had a lifelong interest in sailing and fishing.

 In 1946 he moved to Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York, with his second wife Nancy. Amundsen opened a studio and lived in the same building, becoming a well-liked figure in the community.  He painted waterfront images, sailing ships, fishing boats, and the New England coastline.
In 1948 he and Nancy had a daughter, but divorced in 1951, and he didn’t have much contact thereafter with neither his daughter nor his son from a first marriage.

Cappy lived a bohemian lifestyle, making a living with his painting, but by the 1980s  times had become tough, and it was through the initiative of friends and the community that his house was restored.  He died in Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on January 18, 2001.In September of 2003 the Sag Harbor Historical Society held a posthumous exhibition of his paintings

Sources include: Sag Harbor’s Artist in Residence, Cappy Amundsen Dies,” Sag Harbor Express, February 8, 2001 .