Elverhøj Museum of History and Art

Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is a museum in Solvang, California whose mission is “to collect, preserve and exhibit the history and Danish culture of Solvang and to promote the arts.”[1] It is one of the few examples of museums outside of Denmark that focus on Danish/Danish-American culture.[2] It is located a few blocks from the town center.[3] It is on a residential side street south of downtown.[4]

Elverhøj Museum of History & Art

Museum exterior, September 2021
Established 1988; 33 years ago (1988)
Location Solvang, California
Coordinates

34°35′31″N120°08′35″W

Website www.elverhoj.org

The museum was the former residence of Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, an internationally known painter and sculptor, and his wife Martha Mott, a painter and art teacher.[1] In 1950, the couple constructed their house to reflect large farmhouses of 18th century Jutland in Denmark.[1] The museum was renovated in 1987 and opened to the public in May 1988.[1] The Brandt-Erichsen family first donated it to the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society.[1] Subsequently, the City of Solvang took over ownership and maintenance and the non-profit Solvang Heritage Associates operated the museum.[1] Later, due to the city’s decline in budget, the ownership and maintenance was transferred to Solvang Heritage Associates in June 2007.[1]

The name Elverhøj means “Elves’ Hill”.[5] It came from the famous folk play Elverhøj from 1828 where a king visits dancing wood-spirits and forest friends at night.[1] The play has been performed in Solvang since 1914.[1] The redwood carving on the front door was inspired by the play and designed by Viggo Brandt-Erichsen.[1] It is now the museum’s logotype.[1]

Elements of Scandinavian architecture can be seen throughout the building, such as ornamental wrought iron, a carved wooden front door, and hand-painted panels.[1] There is a traditional Danish kitchen with pine floors, countertops, and tables decorated with hand-painted green and stenciled flowers.[5] The museum also contains a number of old photographs and traditional arts and crafts, such as displays of paper cutting, lace-making, and wooden clog making.[5] There are also rotating exhibits that change throughout the year about the surrounding area.[5]

In 2020, the suggested donation was $5.[6] The museum also has a store that sells gift items and souvenirs.[3]

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  1. “About the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art”. Welcome to the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art, Solvang, California. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  2. “Elverhoj Museum of History & Art”. Solvang, California. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  3. Fliedner, C. (2010). Quick Escapes® From Orange County: The Best Weekend Getaways. Quick Escapes From. Globe Pequot. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7627-6722-9. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  4. Cavalieri, N.; Atkinson, B.; Bender, A.; Benson, S.; Bing, A.; Bonetto, C.; Quintero, J.; Vlahides, J.A.; Harrell, A. (2018). Lonely Planet Coastal California. Travel Guide. Lonely Planet Global Limited. p. 705. ISBN 978-1-78701-940-9. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  5. Cervin, M. (2018). Santa Barbara Know-It-All: A Guide to Everything That Matters. Reedy Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-68106-137-5. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  6. Rough Guides, n/a (2020). The Rough Guide to California (Travel Guide eBook). Rough Guides. Apa Publications. p. 514. ISBN 978-1-78919-660-3. Retrieved 2021-11-22.

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. . . Elverhøj Museum of History and Art . . .

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