Cahill, Holger

Cahill, Holger (b. Sveinn Kristján Bjarnarson)

(1887–1960) art authority, author; born in Snaefellsnessysla, Iceland. A childhood emigrant to Canada, he moved to New York City in his teens, determined to become a writer. He studied at New York University, Columbia University, and the New School for Social Research. At the Newark Art Museum (1922–31) he became an authority on American art and wrote the seminal American Folk Art (1932). His outstanding leadership of the Federal Art Project (1935–43)—including compiling the Index of American Design—helped nurture a generation of American artists. He wrote fiction in his later years.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.