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Willow Hagans Bill Hagans
Willow Hagans is a native of Bemidji, Minnesota. After majoring in music at Wayne State University in Detroit, she studied advanced vocal technique in Florence, Italy. For the last eighteen years, she and her husband of thirty-eight years, Bill, have been researching the life and work of Swedish artist Anders Zorn (1860-1920). They have written Zorn in America, which recounts for the first time in great detail Zorn’s exploits in the United States during his seven trips there (1893-1911). Their research includes previously unknown details concerning Zorn’s over one-hundred American subjects.

During the course of a thirty-four year career, Willow, now retired, has dedicated her life to public service, working for the State of Michigan (23 years) and as a political appointee in the position of director of education and job training, Wayne County. Always interested in art, Willow managed the Hanamura Gallery in downtown Detroit in the mid-1960s, which displayed works by such renown artists as ceramist Toshiko Takaezu.

Willow’s love of languages and travel grew out of her experience as an exchange student in Mexico during two summers. She has traveled widely, living in Europe, Canada, and the western United States for extended periods before beginning her career in government administration. As late as 2006, Willow was president of the Detroit Swedish Foundation, a board member of the Swedish Council of America, member of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, and the Swedish Club. Along with many things Swedish, Willow has embraced the spirit of the Hemslöjd (traditional handicrafts) movement in her everyday life.

Bill Hagans, an independent researcher, is a native of Detroit. He received his B.A. and Master of Music degrees from Wayne State University. He has written for Numismatic News and Coins Magazine, where he has specialized in coin designs by the circle of sculptors trained by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. He has also written extensively on Swedish numismatics, including articles on the coins in the collection of the Zorn Museum, the Swedish Royal Coin Cabinet, Swedish plate money, coin and medal designer Lea Ahlborn, and the medals of Carl Milles.

Bill has received four Numismatic Literary Guild Awards. He contributed articles to the Encyclopedia of Sculptors (Saint-Gaudens) and the Encyclopedia of Artists’ Models. Bill was asked to translate from Swedish Hårarbeten (Hairwork), an example of traditional crafts from Zorn’s province of Dalarna, published by the Zorn Museum (1995) for English language readers. He was a guest curator for an exhibition at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, New Hampshire, of coins and medals by Saint-Gaudens and his protégés in 2000. Bill wrote “Saint-Gaudens, Zorn, and the Goddess-Like Miss Anderson” for the Summer 2002 Smithsonian American Art Journal.

After two years touring with a jazz band during the 1960s in Europe, Bill worked in an improvisational theater group created by Michelangelo Pistoletto, a proponent of Arte Povera, based in Torino, Italy. A summer spent with the group in the seaside village of Corniglia, part of Liguria’s Cinque Terre, is one of his fondest memories. He also lived in the Bay Area of California for two years before finishing his university studies. He recently retired after nearly thirty years teaching instrumental music in the Detroit Public Schools. Willow and Bill have collected Zorn etchings since 1992 and, as of 2006, their collection includes sixty-six examples of the artist’s prints. Their joint passions, along with Zorn and traveling to Sweden, are opera and chamber music.

Copyright © 2007 Bill and Willow Hagans . All Rights Reserved. Information and images contained on this website may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced, modified, distributed, published, transmitted, transferred, sold, licensed, displayed, or adapted without expressed written permission from the copyright owners.