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The History of Solvang, the Heritage of Denmark  
Past Exhibits

On view through April 29, 2018

“ReOpening The Book,” a new exhibition of artists’ books, features the work of 23 California artists. Viewers can delight in exploring the many ways that the artists probe the definition of what constitutes a book, searching for new and unexpected forms of this familiar object. Books hang from the ceiling, crawl up the wall, cover table tops and fill the imagination. Some works challenge the conventional book format and become sculptural objects; some pop up; others play with layers.

The curatorial team, led by Pamela Zwehl-Burke explained: “For this exhibition, we’ve chosen a range of bookworks to stretch our minds: semi-recognizable books made of unusual materials, objects which carry language, visual juxtapositions and series, containers holding sequences and series, objects which have covers and centers, altered books, and limited edition productions which bring together several ways of experiencing an event or story.”

Understanding a book as an artwork invites a reflection on the properties of the book form itself. Much like any act of reading, an artists’ book is a physical experience that allows a connection with the medium that is individual and personal. “You will want to interact with and hold these objects,” said Elverhøj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “We've tried to make as many as practicable available to you to touch and feel. You may find your own ideas taking shape in bookish form.”

ReOpening The Book

Exhibit programming includes three workshops including the February 17 family oriented “Oddball Books to Make & Take,” as well as two options for adults. Artist presentations by William Davies King and Mary Heebner will be presented on February 24 and April 14. The grand final “Bookapalooza!” on April 28 includes an interactive show, tell and challenge with the Last Call Reception following. Pre-registration is required for the workshops. More information can be found at elverhoj.org or phone the Museum at (805) 686-1211.

Exhibiting artists are: Mariona Barkus, Beverly Decker, Linda Ekstrom, Noah Erenberg, Julie Filatoff, Linda Foster, Holli Harmon, Mary Heebner, William Davies King, Thomas Larson, Jill Littlewood, Nora McKinnon, Lisa Moore, Sara Norquay, Mary Price, Harry Reese, Sandra Reese, Felicia Rice, Elena Siff, Cynthia Stahl, Nina Warner, Monica Wiesblott and Pamela Zwehl-Burke.

May 12 - August 12, 2018

Nancy YakiArtist Nancy Yaki began her Roadside Series as a study of landscapes while driving to and from work. It is primarily a celebration of the beauty of expansive landscapes with a focus on location, light, and perspective. It is also a statement about the hyper-distractive digital world we inhabit and the importance of occupying the present, allowing imaginations to dance and play with the physical environment. Art exhibits include programming such as special presentations, panel discussions, film screening and workshops.


Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is on the move with a pop-up gallery at the Montecito Bank and Trust, 591 Alamo Pintado Road.


Viking PaulElverhøj Museum of History & Art invites visitors to learn more about Scandinavian ancestors of long ago. The new Vikings! display includes stone age Danish tools, replica pieces, and weapons. Informative text and photographs tell of the Vikings’ role in history and in popular culture. For younger explorers, there is a hands-on display table and handouts about the Viking runic “alphabet.”  

“Viking” is a term used by modern scholars to refer to the Nordic-speaking peoples from southern Scandinavia who raided, traded and settled in Europe and the British Isles roughly between A.D. 793-1066. In addition to being the fierce warriors of popular stereotype, Vikings were sailors, shipbuilders, farmers, master artists, craftsmen, shrewd businessmen, and fearless explorers. Their activities stimulated political changes in Europe and Russia; created lasting new societies in Iceland and Greenland; and led to the discovery of North America 500 years before Columbus.

Viking axeThe museum has had the opportunity to add new artifacts to the existing collection. These items include a Viking era sword, an ornamental replica axe, and jewelry.

Schedule a private tour for your group or class by phoning (805) 686-1211 or email info@elverhoj.org.

History, someone has said, is the stories we tell ourselves.  In Elverhøj’s Solvang Room, the so-called Scrapbook on the Wall — a series of large panels of photos and text — tells the stories of Solvang from 1910 to the present. A team of talented people have worked together for many months to assemble this special exhibit.
Just as with a personal scrapbook, material for these history panels has come from a variety of sources. We have rummaged through Elverhøj’s records to find historical treasures: oral history tapes, family genealogies, old letters, personal reminiscences, the museum’s extensive photo collection, local newspaper clippings, school board records, event programs, souvenirs and memorabilia, published and unpublished histories of Solvang, student theses on Solvang, and more.

The World at War      Reinventing Solvang

People have shared their personal photo albums, scrapbooks, and stories with us. Organizations have donated information about themselves. Other museums have generously assisted. A UCSB intern and a Cal State researcher contributed some expertise. Even the Danish embassy got involved and furnished photos of Denmark’s royal family.
What you can now see is a series of important vignettes or stories about key milestones in Solvang’s history rather than a complete and definitive history. The history panels start with Danish immigration to America, progress through the founding and growth of Solvang, and in a generally chronological way, guide the viewer through stories about local culture, influential people, and events. You can also read about Solvang cowboys, how the automobile came to the Valley, how Solvang reinvented itself, the three visits from Danish Royalty, and learn about ring riding and hitting the cat out of barrel, among other things.
Funding generously provided by The Valley Foundation, The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, MIS Associates, and Premier Imaging Products.


The Elverhøj Museum of History and Art encourages art exhibition proposal submissions from individual artists and artist groups. The guidelines are intended to help expedite the review of these submissions by insuring that each proposal is as complete as possible. Proposals for exhibitions at the Elverhøj must include both written and visual components.

A copy of the artist proposal guidelines is available for download.

Click to DownloadArtist Exhibition Proposal Procedures PDF (or DOC version)
Click to DownloadArtist GROUP Exhibition Proposal Procedures PDF (or DOC version)

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