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The History of Solvang, the Heritage of Denmark  
Past Exhibits

August 1 through October 18
“Traditions on the Edge
Photographs of Mongolia and Myanmar by Richard Lindekens

Opening Reception: Saturday August 1, 4 to 6 pm

Chin womanDebuting August 1 at Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is “Traditions on the Edge,” a new art exhibition featuring photographs of Myanmar and Mongolia by Richard Lindekens. From the elaborately inked faces of the Chin women of Burma to nomadic Kazakhs and the symbiosis between hunters on horseback and their majestic raptors, Lindekens’ stunning photographs capture these wonderfully unique cultures and centuries of tradition.

The public is invited to meet the photographer and celebrate at the opening reception on Saturday August 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. Light appetizers and beverages will be served. There is no charge for admission.

At the young age of 16, Lindekens harnessed the skills of a pilot and was captivated by “the view from up there.” He flew medivac helicopters in Vietnam and went on to private corporate and eventual commercial airline piloting. His work took him to many foreign locations including Southeast Asia and China where he piloted one of the first three planes to enter after Nixon opened relations to the country in 1972.

Now retired from flying, Lindekens continues to call on his inspiration in the possibilities of adventurous travel. Captivated with cultures he visited during his military service and in 40 plus years of being a pilot, his innate curiosity led him to remote points along the map where he always made time to interview the local people he met along the way. The friendships made while traveling around the world created a special network of interpreters and guides that eventually helped him to photograph the people and traditions of Mongolia and Myanmar beginning in 2008.

“You don’t just fly into Mongolia” says Lindekens, who knows that a trip to reach the Altai Mountains to photograph the eagle hunters means enduring long flights on “old puddle jumper” aircraft, days of driving across the Gobi Desert (sometimes traversing by camel), electric bus rides, rented river taxis and back-breaking 6-hour trips along mountainous dirt roads in Russian Jeeps. “In the villages this is really where rapid modernization threatens their identity and way of life,” he states.


C. WoodOctober 24, 2015 – January 24, 2016.
“East to West: the Kimono Series”
by Santa Ynez Artist Carol Wood

The intricate and complex layering of visual patterns, color combinations and compositions of Kimonos created since the 1600s are the subject of a new series begun in 2014 by artist C. Wood. The Kimono paintings explore a painterly and abstracted interpretation of the visual infinity of design complexities which originate from the subject of kimono clothing and stem from the artist’s personal affinity and love of Asian art.


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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