Originally from Fredrikshald, Norway, Sigurd Skou studied in Stockholm under artist Anders Zorn, before continuing his studies in Paris, and eventually moving to the United States in 1918.
Skou split his time between New York, Chicago, and New England, as well as taking frequent trips to Europe. He painted both portraits and landscapes with energetic brushwork and his signature style. During his lifetime, he exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, American Art Association of Paris, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, National Academy of Design, and The National Arts Club. He was the recipient of numerous awards including the gold medal at the Norse Centennial in St. Paul in 1924, the Foster prize at the Salmagundi Club in 1926, and the Allied Artists of America gold medal that same year.
He was a founding member of the Grand Central School of Art in New York as well as a member of the Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists, National Academy of Design, American Water Color Society, Palette and Chisel Club of Chicago, Boston Arts Club, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Aquarellists of America, American Federation of Arts, National Arts Club and the American Art Association of Paris.