Arctic Life

Dublin Core


Arctic Life


Heurlin, Magnus Colcord (Rusty)


w, Complete file held by WPA Art Rescue Committee.


45 x 129 1/2 inches



Still Image Item Type Metadata


On July 5, 1895, Magnus Colcord “Rusty” Heurlin was born in Sweden, where his parents were vacationing. The family returned from Sweden in 1896, and he was raised in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He attended art school at the Fenway School of Illustration in Boston. He visited Alaska for the first time in 1916. During World War I Heurlin joined the Navy and served in France. After completing his military service, he moved to Westport, Connecticut where he began a career as a professional illustrator, creating illustrations for a number of magazines. He became a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan. Heurlin worked for the Public Works of Art Project and then joined the WPA Federal Arts Project, for which he painted two murals, Eskimo Children at Play and Arctic Life, for Bedford Elementary School in Westport. Upon completion of the murals, he returned to Alaska, settling in the town of Ester with his wife. During World War II he enlisted in the Alaska Territorial Guard. When the war was over he retuned to his home in Alaska. In the 1950s Heurlin taught the first art classes held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He received an honorary doctorate from the University in 1971. Heurlin died on March 10, 1986, at the age of 90.  Sources: WPA Artist’s Work Card; AskART; Wikipedia; Social Security Death Index; “WPA Art” [in Westport] at; “Heurlin, Rusty Magnus Colcord, 1895-1986,” at


WPA Art Collection



Media Details

Oil on masonite

Signature Position

Signed, lower left (not visible because of frame, but a slide showing signature exists)


Heurlin, Magnus Colcord (Rusty), “Arctic Life,” Westport Public Schools Digital Collections, accessed November 30, 2023,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:creator Item: Magnus Colcord "Rusty" Heurlin
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Coleytown Elementary School