Elverhøj logo Elverhøj Museum of History and ArtElverhøj Museum  
The History of Solvang, the Heritage of Denmark  
Past Exhibits


Elverhøj is pleased to announce the opening of “Outside In,” a solo exhibition featuring multi-media artist Ro Snell. The public is invited to a reception honoring the artist on Saturday January 31 from 4 to 6 pm. Wine and refreshments will be served. There is no charge for admission.

As an artist, Ro Snell responds to her natural surroundings and seeks out beauty in everyday observations and gestures. Her work derives from a childhood spent on a farm in rural England and her current home in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Valley. The repetitious disciplines and actions of farming methods and repairs are inherent in the motions of making her artwork.

Incorporating both the salvaged and personal documentation, and using tools, branches and photographs as materials, the pieces on display are equal parts relic and record. Snell positions herself between control and randomness in her watercolors, collage and prints on paper.

Recognizing that time is the ultimate mark maker, Snell brings Nature into the formal space of the museum, a space traditionally associated with preservation. Carefully wrapped branches with no edges touching are piled up like pick-up sticks and once utilitarian tools laid out in a grid become an industrial reliquary. By bringing these found and reclaimed objects to our attention, Snell includes us in a specific moment in time and space. Her marks, impressions, distillations, deposits and actions fix these objects, making them fossilized poetry. Viewers are invited not just to observe, but to open up to the magnetic and enigmatic pull of the imprint of time—of real, remembered and natural history brought from outside, in.

Exhibition programming includes a bookmaking workshop led by Snell on March 21 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. On Saturday March 28, multimedia installation artist Lisa Kaftori joins Snell for an art conversation in the gallery. Art and the poetics of real, remembered and natural history will be the topic of their 4 pm talk.

Elverhoj Around TownPop up galleries in 5 Solvang locations now

Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is on the move with pop up galleries in two locations around the town of Solvang. The displays, called “Elverhøj Around Town,” occupies space at these Solvang businesses: Montecito Bank and Trust, 591 Alamo Pintado Road, and Petersen Village Inn, 1576 Mission Drive.


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)

Home | Visiting | Exhibitions | Event Calendar | Classes | News
Photo Gallery | About Us | Solvang History | Brandt-Erichsen
Membership | Contact Info