Kahler suggests that the program’s authors have made a good case for interpreting Birger Sandzen as a western artist who was most responsive to the mountainous grandeur of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. He also says, however, that “despite the considerable amount of biographical information we are given, Sandzen appears as a rather solitary, decontextualized figure” in the DVD.
Renowned Swedish-American artist Birger Sandzen emigrated to the U.S. in 1894 to teach at Bethany, where he produced oils, watercolors, and prints. He is best known for his signature thick, textural impasto style of painting. Sandzen retired from the college in 1946.
Kahler has taught American history and art history at Bethany since 1988. He has served in numerous administrative positions, including assistant academic dean, faculty representative to the Board of Directors, and co-coordinator of the Higher Learning Commission self-study team.
Kahler is the author of numerous articles, book reviews, and encyclopedia entries. He also has written op-ed columns for the Salina Journal. His current research is focused on Civil War veterans in Kansas.
Kahler holds a doctorate and master’s in history-American studies from Purdue University. His bachelor’s in history is from Kutztown State College. He is professionally affiliated with the Organization of American Historians and the Kansas State Historical Society.