Charles Dahlgreen was a native of Chicago, Illinois. He decided at the age of 40 to become a painter-etcher. After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and in Düsseldorf, he worked en plein aire. He was an early visitor to Nashville, Indiana, going there for the first time in 1914 and had a studio there in the 1930s. His work is in many museums, including the Smithsonian.