Born in Sweden, Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt came to the United States at the age of 13. He settled in Chicago, where he studied at the Art Institute and worked for a Swedish newspaper. He became an assistant to the painter Albert Herter, whom he accompanied to Paris in 1900. Nordfelt remained in Paris for a few years, eventually leaving for Santa Fe, New Mexico. There he painted images of the indigenous Pueblo peoples and the vivid landscapes of the Southwest.