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2006 News Archive
News Archive


Debuting in the Museum gallery on April 14 is Colorscapes, a new exhibition featuring the work of painterly colorist Gwen Cates. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, April 21 from 5:30 to 8 PM. Appetizers and Tantara wines will be served. There is no charge for admission.

Cates is a plein air painter who works on location to capture the energy and spirit of the landscape. “I am passionately drawn to mountains,” says Cates. “They are dramatic and monumental. For most of my life I painted in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, simplifying and abstracting.”

After moving to the Santa Ynez Valley with its golden hills and majestic oaks, Cates found the terrain both austere and dramatic. “The bare bones of the peaks revealed themselves in exotic ways,” says Cates, “and the Santa Barbara County ranches and vineyards are wonderful subjects to explore.”

Cates prefers oil paints on linen and enjoys sliding one color over the other to achieve richness and vibrancy. The colors she paints are not necessarily the color that is seen as a casual observer of a scene. She has been exhibiting professionally for over two decades, including solo shows in London and Washington D.C. While some of the works on view are on loan from private collections, most are available for purchase.

“Colorscapes” will remain on exhibit through June.


The Solvang chapter of Rebild Park Society recently donated $500 with a request that the gift be used towards purchase of wish list item(s). The timing could not have been better as we wanted to purchase bistro-style tables prior to our Valley Wines & Valentines fundraiser.

Thanks to the Rebild gift, we now have six new, beautiful and functional bistro tables for use at special events. And they even fold up and nest together to fit into the tiny storage space at the museum.


Adult Classes:

  • Beading Before Bedtime
  • Introduction to Creative Scrapbooking
  • Faux Finish Sampler

Kid’s Saturday Morning Art series:

  • Please Paint the Daisies
  • Fabulous Amphibians
  • Who Is Keith Haring?

Class sizes are limited and advance registration is required. For more information call the Museum at (805) 686-1211.


The Elverhøj Museum’s winter fundraiser, Valley Wines & Valentines, was a big success, raising more than $5000. “The event was a fun way to celebrate Valentines, sample some of our Valley Wines & Valentineswonderful valley wines, and come together to support the Museum,” said Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “Thank you to all who attended, donated and contributed to the evening’s success.”

More than 150 guests attended, filling the museum with their conversation and laughter. Flowers, candlelight and live music provided an elegant backdrop for Valentine’s Day treats which included a selection of local wines, a sumptuous Danish cheese board, fruit and chocolates.

This annual fundraiser included the Fabulous Valentine’s Raffle and a small, but select, silent auction. Museum members and guests drew the winning raffle tickets as the event finale. The grand prize Cupid’s Wine Cellar, a 24 bottle collection of local wines, was won by John and Cam Rasmussen. First place winners Gerry Foster and Frank Schmidt each received a 12 bottle wine collection. The following Santa Ynez Valley vintners donated wine for the raffle prizes and sampling:

  • Alexander & Wayne
  • Arthur Earl Winery
  • Brander Vineyard
  • Bridlewood Winery
  • Buttonwood Farm Winery
  • Casa Cassara Vineyards
  • Curtis Winery
  • Firestone Vineyard
  • Gainey Vineyard
  • Presidio Winery
  • Royal Oaks Winery
  • WM Theresa Wines

Additional raffle prizes and the winners were:

  • Arts Outreach Storytelling Festival pass: Bev & Bill Turpin
  • Berengaria tote: Barbara Pedersen
  • Bit O Denmark dinner for 2: David Pick
  • Café Angelica gift certificate: Marian Petersen
  • Elna’s Dress Shop gift certificate: Larry O’Callaghan
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co. gift box: Tom & Carolynn Petersen
  • Gaveaesken candle holders: Ken Palmer
  • Home Connection gift basket: Sam & KC Thompson
  • Home Connection cheese board: Angela Romero
  • Johnson’s Jewel Box watch: Valerie Lesher
  • George Lockwood mirror print: Cherie Bonazolla
  • Katheryn Mullins gift basket: Elmer Rasmussen
  • Nielsen’s Market plant basket: Erling Pohls
  • New Frontiers gift basket: Stacey Stone
  • Ken and Beverly Palmer necklace/earring set: Christie Anderson
  • Paula’s Pancake House gift certificate: Marian Petersen
  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery gift: Barbara Young
  • Valley Oaks wine gift basket: Rita Ferri
  • The Vineyard House gift certificate: Michael Fitzgerald
  • Windmill Glassworks beaded bag: Ingrid Fay

Silent auction prizes and winners were:

  • Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern gift certificate: Ken Johnson
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co. gift set: Gene Madsen
  • Hartley Ostini Hitching Post Sideways wine gift: Amy Bates Cano
  • Ingeborg’s Homemade Chocolates Valentine box: Wendy Gregersen
  • Mole Hole Wine Lover’s gift basket: Jane Frazier
  • Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery cake: Ethel Larrabee and Wim Ilmanen
  • SYV Hardware orchid: Carol Johnson
  • Wine & Olives Gift basket (Casa Cassara, Olive House, Rancho Olivos): Mark Bates

The Elverhøj Museum is supported by a variety of individuals, organizations and foundations. A recent gift of stock was given by Paul Hanberg. A long-time Museum supporter and former board member, Hanberg’s generous gift was acknowledged by the board of directors (pictured with Hanberg, second from left) with a special certificate of appreciation.


Vintage VendorsA new exhibit, “Vintage Vendors,” is now on exhibit in the Main Room of the Museum.  It features an interesting collection of give-away and logo items from early Solvang businesses.  Augmenting the exhibit are archival photos of downtown Solvang from1914 and into the 1940s.  The exhibit features items as diverse as plates and pencils, flyswatters and yardsticks, all bearing information about businesses that served Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley residents. 

It’s interesting to look at the array of businesses represented and how they differ from many of today’s tourist-based enterprises.  In the first half of the twentieth century, Solvang business owners catered to the local population; the tourist trade did not appear until after World War II.  The archival photos show Solvang as it transitions from a new town with a dirt Main Street to a busy community center circa 1940.

“Vintage Vendors” will remain on exhibit through Fall of 2006.

July 15 through September 3

A new exhibition featuring painter Rise Delmar Ochsner’s bold and colorful figurative works opens in the Museum Gallery on Saturday, July 15. A reception for Ochsner will be held that day from 4 to 7 PM. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend. Appetizers and Alma Rosa Wines will be served.

Ochsner grew up in New York City and began painting seriously at a young age, although with no formal training. At that time, she never considered painting for a living and enjoyed a successful career as an ophthalmologist. On a visit to California, Ochsner was captivated by the light, the colors, and the foliage of coastal Santa Barbara. She was inspired to leave New Orleans, which had been her home for 30 years, and her medical career to relocate in the Montecito hills and paint full time.

“When I paint, I know why I’m alive,” says Ochsner. Taking full advantage of the large canvases on which she works, that joy is evident in her energetic style. Working in oil and acrylic, Ochsner prefers painting portraits, landscapes, antique cars and polo ponies. She tells her portrait subjects, “It’s a poem about you; it isn’t everything about you. A momentary glimpse.” Her trademark portraits of famous chefs include Julia Child in her kitchen, Thomas Keller, and Louisiana native Paul Prudhomme. Such works can be seen on the walls of award-winning restaurants across the county.

Ochsner, who recently relocated to the Santa Ynez Valley, is noted for her loose and lush style which shows off well in the scale and colorful boldness that typifies her work.

“Go Figure” will remain on exhibit through September 3.


The goal of the Family History Project is to collect and maintain a brief history on each family that settled in or around Solvang between 1911 and 1941. This committee of volunteers, under the direction of Bill and Sue Rubey, has identified many of the early settlers and has sent questionnaires to 160 of their descendants.

The Family History Committee has done hours and hours of research, gathering a great deal of information on early settlers. They have looked through old issues of the Santa Ynez Valley News; records of births, deaths and marriages in church logs; reviewed cemetery records; and conducted interviews with "old-timers."

To date, 60 completed forms have been returned. The quality of the finished product has been outstanding.

To those who have received the questionnaire and have not yet completed it, please give it your best effort. If you have not received the questionnaire and you feel you should have, get in touch with us and we will correct the oversight.

If you are having trouble completing the forms, please call the Museum at (805) 686-1211. Maybe we have that missing piece of information you've been looking for. We need your help to meet our goals.

Breakfast at Elverhøj

The California District of the Danish Brotherhood and Danish Sisterhood held their annual convention in Solvang May 19-21. Hosted by the Solvang lodges, there were three days of meetings and activities, concluding with a breakfast in the Museum gallery on Sunday morning, May 21.

The unexpected May rain didn’t impact attendance as approximately 75 people enjoyed a tasty continental breakfast organized by Marie Jaeger and family. The Museum Store did brisk business as convention attendees shopped and chatted. Many guests stopped to admire the Heritage Walk bricks in the colorful entry courtyard, often seeking out their personalized brick and enjoying seeing names they recognized.

Resistance video project

The Solvang Rotary Foundation has awarded Elverhøj Museum a gift of $2,000 for production of a DVD about the role of specific Santa Ynez Valley residents in the World War II Danish Resistance efforts. The video is intended to document individual stories in an educational and interesting format. The video will be screened for Museum visitors as part of a future permanent exhibit about the Danish Resistance.

This is the third consecutive year that Elverhøj Museum has been the recipient of proceeds generated from the Rotary Club of Solvang annual Monte Carlo Night fundraiser. The Rotary gift supports a “growing consensus within the Santa Ynez Valley that the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is a deserving and integral part of our heritage which should endure for future generations.”


A recent gift was received in honor of Marion J. Walker and Anker E. Johnson. This $10,000 gift from the Johnson-Walker Trust was an unexpected and wonderful surprise and honors two long-time community members who deeply valued the preservation of their Danish heritage.


Brandt-Erichsen Presentation
Photo courtesy of Connie Cody

On Sunday afternoon, April 23, fifty people gathered for a special presentation by Thor Brandt-Erichsen (right). Thor, whose childhood family home is today the Elverhøj Museum, presented a portrait of Johannes Jaeger to the Museum. The original oil on canvas, painted by Thor, honors the memory of Jaeger, a devoted museum volunteer who contributed many hours to the Elverhøj. On hand for the brief ceremony was a very surprised Mrs. Johannes (Marie) Jaeger who was joined by family and friends. Following the presentation was a dessert reception with a huge sheet cake and tasty Danish kringler donated by Leo and Mary Mathaisen and Bent Olsen of Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery.


Year of the MuseumOn Thursday, May 18 the Elverhøj Museum joined other area museums in celebrating International Museum Day. We had free admission, refreshments, prizes and give-aways. Almost 50 people dropped in to join us, many of whom were also visiting other museums. Congratulations to Bruce Marsden of Denver, Colorado who won a gift-filled Elverhøj tote bag.

The U.S. Congress has declared 2006 as the Year of the American Museum, and the California legislature has proclaimed 2006 as the Year of the California Museum.

Over the centuries, museums in America have proliferated into an amazing number and astounding diversity of institutions. Today, there are over 15,000 museums in our country, which attracted approximately 850 million visitors in 2005! The value these institutions represent to our society and economy is enormous. Nationally, the economic impact of museums amounts to many billions of dollars every year. Museums are central elements in shaping a community’s quality of life. Museums are also emerging as community centers that have the power to unify in a world that is increasingly being torn apart by cultural, ethnic, religious, political, and economic divisions. Most importantly, perhaps, museums are powerful educational institutions.

We encourage you to visit, learn about, and support the wonderfully diverse museums in our area and beyond.


Christmas PartyThe Elverhøj Museum of History and Art will celebrate the holiday season in traditional Danish style at the annual Christmas Party, Sunday December 3 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. This popular event features food and treats made by museum volunteers and traditional Danish Christmas festivities. The Museum glows in its holiday trim, with a 12 foot tree decorated with handmade Danish Christmas ornaments as the focal point.

The celebration, which is open to the public, includes Danish open-face sandwiches, homemade Danish Christmas cookies and chocolates, and Christmas cheer. Santa will stop by with treats for the kids. Live music and the Danish Christmas tradition of ‘dancing’ around the tree are the highlight of the evening’s festivities.

Papercutting artist Rick James Marzullo will make a special appearance from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. He will be signing 2006 Elverhøj Christmas ornaments which feature an original papercutting design created especially for the first annual museum ornament.

Admission to the Christmas party is $10 per person with complimentary admission for museum members and children under eight.

For more information, phone the museum at (805) 686-1211

On exhibit November 17, 2006 thru January 21, 2007

“Central Coast Collection,” a new exhibit featuring the works of twenty-six Santa Barbara county artists, debuts on Friday, November 17 at the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art in Solvang.

A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, November 18 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Museum, 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang. Refreshments will be served, including wine, appetizers and desserts. There is no charge for admission.

The exhibition features the work of members of the Artists Guild of the Santa Ynez Valley, a non-profit organization open to professional and amateur artists. Their works showcases a variety of art mediums, including watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings; collage; photography; pen and ink stippling; fiber arts; and mixed media. This show offers collectors a special opportunity as all of the art will be available for purchase.

Exhibitors are: A.H. Andersen, Mary Ellen Barnard, Lori Bell, Mayra Bell, Fiddle Bird, Peggy Brierton, Carol Carbine, Gwen Cates, Marilyn Hoback Cronk, Jessica Datin, Donna Friedmann, Rebecca Gomez, Ron Guthrie, Joan Jones, Cherryl Larrigan, Sandra Olson Liatsos, Letty Manker, Syd McCutcheon, Sally Meister, Joan Mitchell, Lorna Morck, Zita D. Nielsen, Ann Raleigh, Diane Reuter, Jean Rittenberg and Paul Roark.

Jurying of entries for the exhibition was done by Brenda French. A retired high school art teacher, Ms. French earned her Master’s in Art Education and serves as a Santa Barbara County Arts commissioner. She has been curator and organizer of the Lompoc Valley Arts Council “Best of the Best” countywide show for the past three years.

Download NowDownload the Central Coast Collection Exhibit Postcard

On exhibit January 27 thru March 25, 2007

Debuting January 27 in the museum gallery is “Immigrants,” an exhibition which features the works of artists from the Funen Graphic Workshop located on the island of Funen in Denmark.

Encompassing 50 pieces of art by nearly as many artists, the exhibition confronts the viewer with the struggle that constantly roams within the immigrant: the perpetual tension between preserving your heritage and assimilating to a new society, and the many ways of dealing with this tension.

The group of artists consists of people with very different international and national backgrounds, a factor which functions as a source of inspiration for their art.

These artists’ skillful implementation of three main print techniques — woodcut, different Intaglio Methods and lithography — has blossomed into an interesting diversity in an exhibition where representative, figurative and abstract styles are represented. Each individual artist conveys his or her interpretation of the complexity of the immigration experience.

“Immigrants” will be on display through March 25. Transportation of the exhibit from Denmark and within the United States has been generously provided by Leman USA.

Lace Maker

September 16 & 17

The Elverhøj Museum of History and Art invites you to Living History Days, Saturday Docentsand Sunday, September 16 and 17. The Museum has special extended hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this free annual event which features museum docents and volunteers demonstrating Old World crafts.

Exhibits come to life as volunteers demonstrate spinning and weaving in the museum’s Immigration-Era Room which features pre-industrial Danish artifacts. Bobbin lace makers will be on hand to answer questions and create samples of their exacting and intriguing work. Demonstrations will also include knitting, carding and other fiber arts.

James Marzullo PapercuttingMaster papirklip artist Rick James Marzullo will demonstrate the fascinating art of Danish papercutting in the Museum Gallery. His amazing ability to create intricate designs with materials as simple as paper and scissors has garnered national attention.

Docents, clad in colorful Danish costumes, will demonstrate a variety of Danish Christmas crafts, including woven paper hearts and paper stars. Rounding out this fun and educational weekend of free activities are docent-led museum tours of the museum’s historical, cultural and art exhibits.

On exhibit in the museum gallery is “Reflections In Wood” featuring works by members of the Santa Ynez Valley Woodworking Guild. Included are pieces large and small in a wide variety of beautiful, rare and exotic woods. Every piece on exhibit is an original, displaying handmade craftsmanship and superb wood.

September 9 through November 5

Works by members of the Santa Ynez Valley Woodworking Guild will be on display at the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art from September 9 through November 5. The exhibition, “Reflections In Wood,” features pieces large and small in a wide variety of beautiful, rare and exotic woods.

A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, September 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served, including wine, appetizers and desserts. There is no charge for admission.

The SYV Woodworking Guild was formed in 1994 and has expanded to include woodworkers from Atascadero, Nipomo, San Luis and Los Osos. Exhibiting members are Richard Farwell, Ken Frye, George Paes, Dave Seymour, Mike Stanton, Pete Thomsen and Bud Tullis. Every piece on exhibit is an original, displaying handmade craftsmanship and superb wood. This is a special opportunity for collectors as most of the pieces are available for purchase.

Pete Thomsen, a charter member of the Guild, describes creating pieces for the show as “our outlet.” The Solvang resident says, “We get to create our own things without any limitations. You will see mirrors, coffee tables, dressers and a variety of other special pieces.”

The public is invited to free demonstrations featuring two of these talented woodworkers in action. On Saturday September 23, Ken Frye will demonstrate “Marquetry Inlay” from 2:00 to 4:00 PM under the gazebo in the Museum garden. “Turning Peppermills and Natural Edge Bowls” will be the focus of a demonstration with George Paes on Saturday September 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.


The fall schedule of classes includes a variety of offerings for all ages. Class sizes are limited and advance registration is required for these popular offerings. Call the museum at (805) 686-1211 for more information or to register. Fall adult classes include:

  • The Floral Escape
  • Beading & Beyond
  • Danish Pastries

There will also be a Kid’s Saturday Morning Art series.


For the last eight months the Family History Committee has worked to collect and maintain a brief history on each family that settled in or around Solvang between 1911 and 1941. This committee of volunteers, under the direction of Bill and Sue Rubey, has sent out more than 130 questionnaires to descendants of first generation settlers. To date, more than 80 completed histories of these original settlers have been returned. An additional 150 questionnaires have been sent to second and third generations of early settlers with over 100 responses returned.

By the end of 1911 there were 26 married couples living in Solvang. We are especially pleased with the response from their descendants, having received15 completed histories from this group with another five in progress and expected soon. This response rate (nearly 80%) has been a strong endorsement of the Family History Project and its goal of preserving Solvang’s early history and Danish cultural heritage.

For those of you who have already submitted your Family Histories, the files are still open. You may add to your history at any time. If you come across a good photograph, find a special certificate or discover anything new that you would like to include in your family’s folder, feel free to bring it in or mail it to the museum. We want your Family History as complete as possible.

To those who have received the questionnaire and have not yet completed it, please give it your best effort. If you have not received the questionnaire and you feel you should have, please call the Museum at (805) 686-1211 and we will correct the oversight.


New Docents NeededThe word “docent” comes from the Latin verb docere, meaning “to teach, conduct, lead into, take care of, learn.” The Elverhøj Museum of History and Art’s 30 active docents do all of that and more, every single day the Museum is open.

For over 10,000 visitors each year, docents are the Museum’s welcoming face and informed voice. We invite you to join this special group.

All you need is an interest in and appreciation of Solvang’s history, Danish cultural heritage and/or art. We ask that you be ready to commit to one or two three-hour shifts per month. In return, you will meet a great group of volunteers and visitors, learn about your community and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of special outings and events at area institutions.

Please stop by to see our docents in action or call Esther at 686-1211 for more information.


Construction is currently underway at the rear museum entry to install a new drinking fountain. In addition to the fountain there are enhancements to the patio area which will make for a more attractive and functional space.

The two basin drinking fountain, funded by a grant from The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. Project sponsors include: David Goldstien, architect; Alpers Construction; Bates Concrete Construction; Hans Duus Blacksmith; and Rick James Marzullo.

Reception Nov. 18

“Central Coast Collection,” a new exhibit featuring recent works by members of the Artists Guild of the Santa Ynez Valley, debuts on Friday, November 17 at the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art.

A reception for the artists is scheduled for Saturday, November 18 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Refreshments will be served, including appetizers and desserts prepared by Guild members.

Exhibiting Guild members include both amateur and professional artists who work in a wide range of media (oil, acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, collage, mixed media, fiber) and styles (realism, abstraction, impressionism, fantasy).

The Artists Guild of the Santa Ynez Valley, founded in 1973, is a non-profit organization open to Central Coast artists and supporters of the arts. Its purpose is to encourage local artists to grow in artistic ability, to enable them to exhibit their works for sale, and to promote awareness of the arts in the community-at-large.


Esther Jacobson BatesMy daughter and I had the privilege of traveling to Denmark recently, touring the country and renewing family ties. For two weeks we were immersed in Danish culture and history — and we enjoyed it all.

Modern design is part of the Danes' national identity and daily life. The blending of contemporary and old world designs fascinated my twenty-six year old daughter. We especially enjoyed our time visiting with my cousins, two of whom live in beautifully renovated 17th century farm houses. Inside the old buildings the furnishings and décor are decidedly modern, with sleek lines and light woods. The stylized lighting and art added to the appeal as did the flowering plants in the windows.

Even though I have been to Denmark four times, I was again awed by the centuries of art and architecture. The old town of Ribe, established in 705, was a favorite. The cobblestone streets, the old buildings still in use, and the fabulous view from the top of the cathedral were all memorable. And we loved Copenhagen — the fast-paced cosmopolitan city with its castles, harbor and long history.

The highlight of the trip was spending time with family. We were welcomed into their homes and their lives, fed way too much tasty food, and escorted around the countryside. It had been 28 years since I last visited with many of my cousins and it was fascinating to reconnect and find a strong family bond. My uncles and aunts were great tour guides and provided us with the best “bed and breakfasts” in Denmark.

The most emotional moment for me was seeing again the tiny island of Aarø. Located off the east coast of southern Jutland, Aarø was home to my paternal grandparents. As we rode the ferry to the island, I felt surrounded by memories of earlier visits with my grandparents and visions of my father’s childhood in the beautiful and isolated setting overlooking wetlands and the sound. Sharing the experience with my daughter was unforgettable.

As I returned to the office I reflected on life’s journeys and how interesting it is that I work each day literally surrounded by the celebration of the immigrant experience and the Danish cultural heritage of the town of Solvang, its early residents, and my family.

Esther Jacobsen Bates


A limited number of the first annual Elverhøj Christmas ornaments are available in the Museum Store. The festive red globe features original artwork imprinted on a fine quality 3 ¼” glass ball. Papirklip artist Rick James Marzullo created and donated the design, Nisse med Flette Julehjerte, which features a traditional Danish Christmas elf (nisse) with woven paper heart. The ornament comes in its own gift box, ready for holiday gift-giving.

Quantities are limited. Phone the Museum at (805) 686-1211 to reserve your ornament. Delivery via U.S. mail is available.


More than 60 Elverhøj volunteers were honored at a holiday brunch on December 12. The group gathered at Belgian Café in Solvang for a sumptuous buffet in acknowledgment of their time and involvement at the museum. Board president Allan Jones and Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates recognized each person’s contributions and presented all in attendance with a Museum mug to mark the occasion.


Esther Jacobson BatesAnother year is coming to a close as I sit to write this note. It’s a time for celebration and anticipation, an opportunity to reflect on the events of 2006 and also look toward the future.

It has been an active and event-filled year at the Elverhøj. During the last twelve months we have welcomed 11, 346 visitors, presented seven gallery exhibitions, and offered 22 classes. Our receptions and special events have drawn thousands of people, many of whom were first-time guests.

An assortment of committees, made up entirely of volunteers, have met to guide and assist with all variety of museum operations. Their insight, expertise, and enthusiasm provide invaluable contributions towards preserving the history and heritage of our community.

For me personally, 2006 has brought great rewards and challenges. I have had the pleasure of working with such interesting and talented artists and art enthusiasts, community and cultural advocates, and members of the local, national and international Danish community. The laughter and smiles of children creating art during Saturday classes, community members toasting a new exhibition, or visitors finding information about their family and cultural heritage have provided me great pleasure. The challenges have kept me invigorated, motivated and striving for a broader recognition of Elverhøj’s contributions and role within our community.

I look with eagerness to the year ahead. But always I hold close the support, friendship and kindnesses that are shared with me by so many of you.

Glædelig Jul!

Esther Jacobsen Bates


The Elverhøj Museum is supported by a variety of local foundations and organizations. Their gifts provide funds for special projects and purchases and are a major source of funding.

The Santa Barbara Foundation recently awarded the Museum a $970 capital grant to fund the purchase of a digital camera and a flat bed photo/slide scanner. Additional funds were made available through a partnership between the Santa Barbara Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation Communities Advancing the Arts Initiative and the Board of Trustees awarded Elverhøj full funding of a mini-grant of $3,000 to be used for marketing and promotional materials.

A grant proposal submitted to The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation was recently approved. It will provide funding for a new phone system and for archival supplies for sorting and storing some of the collections and artifacts. An unexpected additional gift of $730 brought the grant total to $5,000. The phone call informing Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates of the good news came the same day that the main office printer failed. The additional gift was used to purchase a color laser printer and an external hard drive for the main computer. What great timing!


Among the permanent exhibits at Elverhøj is the Solvang Room. This area features historical information, a model of the Atterdag College, and a screening of the informative and entertaining Solvang Families video.

Solvang Pharmacy

For more than two years teams of volunteers have been working on renovations and updates to the exhibits. A centerpiece in the renovated space will be a new swinging panel display presenting the history of Solvang in text and pictures. The Valley Foundation provided funds for the new display unit and committees have worked for more than two years to identify people and locations in archival photos for use in the display. Research of Solvang’s history has also involved several committees, a UCSB intern and a dedicated team of volunteers. Sponsorships have been secured from Premier Imaging Products and MIS Associates. Premier Imaging is providing the archival paper and MIS Associates is donating the archival carbon inks for the photos and text pages on the display.

Look for information regarding events and activities celebrating the opening of the new exhibit in April of 2007.


The annual Christmas party was a huge success!  More than 850 Danish open-faced sandwiches were prepared and enjoyed by about 300 guests. Greeting visitors at the door were Sandy Gregersen, Esther Jacobsen Bates, Carol Johnson and Kate Nielsen.

Christmas Party

Docents Wee Woodward, foreground, and Lois Vind were among the twenty volunteers who participated in Christmas decorating festivities at the Elverhøj.


Docent education includes trips and excursions. Pictured in the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum are volunteers Jill Clevenger, Bob & Else Lassiter, Wee Woodward, Marie Jaeger, Clara Ehrsam, Grethe Larsen, Agnes Larsen, Kate Nielsen, Knud & Elisabeth Jacobsen, Barbara Weber and Beverly Smith.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Elverhoj hosted the Queen of Arts Show and Sale during Veteran’s Day weekend. Over 800 people visited and shopped, enjoying the creations of 39 area artists and craftspeople. Shown are 3 shoppers modeling their newly purchased felted wraps.

Queen of Arts Shoppers

Queen of Arts Show organizer Syd McCutcheon (left) is pictured with artist Karin Trub.

Queen of Arts


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