Born in Sweden, Knute came to America in 1902, where he settled in Minnesota, supporting himself by various menial employments, such as cobbler and lumberjack. After ten years, he began to devote more time to his art in Duluth, sharing studio space and classes with a local artist. He married one of his students Colette Pope and they wintered in New Orleans in 1927. This was the beginning of his love of the picturesque French Quarter and the lure of the sunny South. He became one of the leading lights of the bohemian Art Colony from the 20’s to his death in 1952. He achieved international fame with his paintings, favoring a loose impressionist style. As fascinated as he was with the architectural subjects of the Vieux Carre, he often introduced themes of social consciousness into his work.