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The History of Solvang, the Heritage of Denmark  
Past Exhibits

August 20 - November 6

Manna from Heaven

This exhibit addresses universal hungers, gifts of nourishment, and the vessels that hold them — physically, mindfully and soulfully.

Three accomplished and well-respected artists — Robert Burridge, Jim McWilliams, Bob Nichols — have come together to share their broad views on this subject. Collectively they have 150 years of experience working in the arts.

The artworks displayed are intended to provoke and inspire. They challenge us to seek and understand our varied hungers. They ask us to explore ways we provide sustenance to ourselves and humanity as a whole. They also encourage us to nourish an ever-expanding circle of giving and receiving.

Robert Burridge creates in paint and combination media, fueled by his career as an art teacher. Jim McWilliams works with a variety of materials reflecting his long history in graphics and conceptual work. Bob Nichols employs clay as his primary medium as both artist and teacher.

Though individual in their approaches and mediums, these artists have given themselves, and us, a gift by coming together and sharing their personal visions.

In this current time when local and world events call up fears such as scarcity, loss, and separation, this exhibit reminds us that “manna from heaven” is infinite, unbounded, and always available.

Robert, Jim, and Bob
Robert Burridge, Jim McWilliams and Bob Nichols

Burridge and McWilliams cut their teeth at a time when they were collaborating with artists like Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman. Joined together in the goal to create art happenings which sought to seamlessly incorporate art into the everyday experiences of life, they were actively encouraging a cultural shift that continues to inspire their work today. Bob Nichols has made a career of exploring the making of marks and symbolism, from ancient rock paintings to the teapots of Yixing.

The concept behind this exhibition is based in a conversation of activism which is intended to provoke thought and a broader global vision. Along with his work on display, Nichols has created several dozen bowls which will be available in the Museum Store at Elverhøj. Proceeds from the sales go to the Santa Barbara County Foodbank. This spirit of exploration, awareness and a more far-reaching message through art occurs naturally for the exhibiting artist.

All three “Manna” men began their art careers in the sixties. They favored the use of experimental, innovative and unusual ideas. Although they work in very different mediums, their ability to blaze trails with art is their common ground. Their pioneering approach to making art derives from an endless and inherent exploration of new ideas which they attribute to finding “manna from heaven.”

Exhibit programming includes “Robert Burridge: Dialogue & Demonstration” (Tuesday, September 13), Artist Talk with Bob Nichols: “A Career with Clay” (September 24), a two day workshop in abstract painting and collage with Robert Burridge (October 5 & 6), and a drop-in clay art workshop (October 22).

The exhibition will remain on view through November 6, 2016.

Eshibition programming:

  • SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 4 PM: Artist Talk with Bob Nichols: A Career with Clay.
  • WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY OCTOBER 5 & 6: 10 AM - 5 PM: Two Day Workshop with Robert Burridge: Abstract Painting & Collage Workshop. Fee: $250 for member, $275 for non-member. Reserve your space: (805) 686-1211 / info@elverhoj.org
  • SATURDAY OCTOBER 22, 11 AM - 1 PM: Drop-In Clay Art Workshop. Family friendly fun. Free and open to all ages.

November 19, 2016 - February 5, 2017
Featuring Multiple Fiber Artists

Opening Reception: November 19, 4-6 PM

On exhibit in the gallery at the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art in Solvang will be “Layers of Perception—Fibervision 2016-2017.” Showcased is the colorful contemporary art quilts of 15 fiber artists from the tri-county area.

Contemporary quilts are the showcase of this juried exhibition which introduce the audience to a variety of techniques and innovative trends in the medium of layered and stitched fabric. The jurors selected works that represent unique approaches to the medium and demonstrate the breadth and diversity of contemporary expressions. Visitors will see that the time-honored traditions are thriving and are being expressed in new forms as these artists rise to meet the challenges of modern techniques and materials.


Some pieces in the exhibit have a strong quilting influence, some are cloth paintings, and others use recycled materials like electronics, fiber photographs, sheet music along with batting, tea stained cloth, and the process of hand dying. Some artists focus on the visual impact while others enjoy the tactile appeal.

The quilters of this exhibition work traditionally, but are playful in their choices of materials and how those avant-garde choices become part of the cloth of their pieces. Hand-dyed cottons, cheese cloth, batik fabric, batting, twine and the use of photographic transfer are just some of the materials used in their fiber art. The artistic use of hand-dyes, paint, tea staining and an infusion of natural materials embellishes and enhances the chromatic and pictorial appeal of each piece.

Exhibiting artists are: Diana Acevedo, Linda Cassirer, Isabel Downs, Linda Estrada, Ranell Hansen, Belinda Hart, Patti Hunter, Gay McNeal, Lorna Morck, Kristin Otte, Judy Rys, Patty Six, Lou Ann Smith, Jeanne Surber, and Susan West.


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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