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See also Exhibitions for news about current and upcoming Elverhøj exhibits.


Elverhøj Museum of History and Art celebrates the 39-acre Santa Inés Mission Mills property with a new art exhibition, “Art from the Groves│Santa Inés Mission Mills.” Debuting June 14, the show features the artwork of 26 jury-selected artists and their interpretation of the historic and diverse site.

The Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. A Juror’s Award of $500 and additional awards and honorable mentions will be presented during the reception. The public is invited to meet and celebrate with the artists. There is no charge for admission; refreshments will be served.

The historic and diverse Santa Inés Mission Mills property includes ruins of the grist and fulling mills, olive groves re-introducing Mission-era agriculture, flora and fauna, the Alamo Pintado Creek, and vistas of the Santa Ynez Mountain range and Old Mission Santa Inés. The property, located below Old Mission Santa Inés, is stewarded by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation on behalf of California State Parks.

Guest juror Robert Burridge is a painter in all media, national juror, college and international workshop instructor and is the Honorary President of the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP). “This wondrous exhibition is a clear example of artists celebrating their skills and their respect for historical sites,” said Mr. Burridge. “It also represents the results of artists’ passion, demonstrating what I call ‘the fire in the belly.’ There is a variety of points of view, creative passion and surprises.” 

Selected artists are: Elizabeth P. Alvarez, Kit Boise-Cossart, Peggy Brierton, Christopher L.T. Brown, Chris Chapman, Jean Demro, Jim Farnum, Ellie Freudenstein, Karen Gearhart-Jensen, Julie Gifford, Ron Guthrie, Patricia Hedrick, John Iwerks, Joan Jones, Renée Kelleher, Teresa McNeil MacLean, Paulette Post Miller, Ann Raleigh, Libby Smith, Kristen Strickland, Frank Swanson, Judy Villa, Nina Warner, Melinda Weymouth, C. Wood and Pamela Zwehl-Burke.

A variety of activities, presented in partnership with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. “Fourth Saturdays at the Mills” will include a guided walking tour on June 28 and a Kid’s Art Day on July 26. A cooking class, “Perfect Your Vinaigrette,” will take place on Saturday July 19, as participants move from “mission to table” while learning to make olive oil a flavorful dressing for summer salads. “Wheat, Wool and Water” will be topics for discussion as archaeologist Mike Imwalle discusses the history of the Mills on Saturday September 6. Wheat beer and snacks will be available to guests attending the 4 p.m. talk.

Solstice Sundowner

2nd Annual Event June 21st

On Saturday June 21 Elverhøj Museum of History & Art will celebrate the year’s longest day with Solstice Sundowner, a benefit party with fun, fine food and local wines, entertainment—and a solstice bonfire.

Guests will congregate at 5 pm under a canopy of oaks on the greens alongside the picturesque lake at Jonata Vineyards. The bucolic setting lies off Ballard Canyon Road within the boundaries of the nearly 9,000 acres that Solvang’s founders bought in 1910 for their new Danish colony.

Superb wines will be flowing along with a Sundowner cocktail special. Tray-passed appetizers, and a gourmet dinner will be followed by a decadent dessert. Tickets for the evening are $100 per person. Seating is limited to 150.

Following Danish tradition, a Solstice “Sankt Hans Aften” (St. John's Eve) bonfire will be lit at lake's edge as the sun sinks behind the vineyards and hills in this magnificent location. From signed wine magnums to one-of-a-kind experiences, the live and silent auctions will include a wide range of specialty items ready to go home with the highest bidder.

Your attendance at an unforgettable evening helps support Elverhøj Museum and its mission to collect, preserve and exhibit the history and Danish culture of Solvang and to promote the arts.

For information, sponsorship opportunities or to request an invitation, email info@elverhoj.org or phone (805) 686-1211.

Elverhoj Around TownPop up galleries in 5 Solvang locations

Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is on the move with pop up galleries in five locations around the town of Solvang. The displays, called “Elverhøj Around Town,” will be staged while the Museum is temporarily closed for maintenance and restoration work. These will be up for the month of March and may remain ongoing.

“The pop up galleries pay tribute to Solvang’s historical and cultural roots, creating a community storytelling space in alternative venues,” said Elverhøj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. Images digitally restored with clarity and elegance featured are historical photos of Solvang’s early years, showcasing the legacy of the city.

“Elverhøj Around Town” occupies space at these Solvang businesses: First Street Leather, 1634 Copenhagen Drive; Montecito Bank and Trust, 591 Alamo Pintado Road; Petersen Village Inn, 1576 Mission Drive; Rasmussen's, 1697 Copenhagen Drive; and Solvang Visitors Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive.

UPDATE: Ongoing exhibits past March can be found at these two locations: Montecito Bank and Trust, 591 Alamo Pintado Road, and Petersen Village Inn, 1576 Mission Drive.

Elverhøj will reopen on March 26 with a fresh, updated look following 6 weeks of maintenance work. The offices remain open Monday through Friday as work permits.


Spirit of SolvangElverhøj has published a new book, Spirit of Solvang, drawing on photos and historical information from its archives. Like the exhibit of the same name, the 56-page book is replete with engaging black and white images of Solvang. These carefully restored images document Solvang’s story from its founding to its transition to a Danish-themed downtown. Informative text gives readers an overall view of Solvang’s development, as well as fascinating tidbits of local history.  Both the exhibit and the book celebrate Solvang’s Centennial by paying tribute to the rich cultural history and heritage of its Danish pioneers.

Elverhøj is very grateful to Paul Roark, who expertly and lovingly restored the photographs; to Joan Mitchell, who wrote and edited text; to Ann Dittmer, who tirelessly did research and checked facts; and to the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation and Nancy Brandt-Erichsen for granting funds for printing and design expenses. Thanks are also due to Museum volunteers, especially the History Committee and Photo ID Committee (a.k.a. the “White Glove Gang”). Over the years they have expanded the Museum collection by organizing, identifying, and conserving numerous images.

The book is available for purchase in the Museum Store for $17.50. Special orders are welcomed. Please phone (805) 686-1211 or email info@elverhoj.org.


Danes are curious people. When they immigrated to America they often kept in touch with each other. When a group of Danes found a good place to farm and live they told others to come join them. Such a place is Solvang, California. . . .

Solvang DVDSo begins a newly-produced DVD now screening in Elverhøj’s Solvang Room and available in the Museum Store for $15. Entitled Solvang, Danish Colony in California, it tells the fascinating history of a little town that grew into an internationally-known tourist destination.
Personal interviews bring to life the pioneering Danish families that made Solvang flourish. These early settlers had a great capacity for work, but also for enjoyment. When times were tough they persevered and helped one another. They came to love their new home, but always treasured their Danish background. Priceless old photographs and more contemporary images supplement their rich oral history.
June Christensen, Elverhøj board member, was the executive producer and researcher on this project. People interviewed include: Elise Lindegaard Bates, Thor Brandt-Erichsen, Harlan Burchardi, Elisa Larsen Duus, Erik Gregersen, Leona Ibsen, Regina Iversen, Ivo Nedegaard Jacobsen, Marie Tarnow Jaeger, Florence (Flossie) Jensen, Eiler Johansen, Anker Johnson, Monica Fauerso Kramer, Elna Larsen, Daryl Nielsen, Donald Nielsen, Kathryn Iversen Nielsen, Roger Nielsen, Edna Paaske, Abeline Jensen Petersen, Robert Petersen, William Petersen, Else Jensen Statom, Marian Johnson Walker, Gerda Svendsen Willis, Lucille Wulff, and Viggo Richard Wulff.
An informative narration by videographer Bent Myggen sets these interviews in context. Myggen also did camera work, editing and production. Funding for the DVD project came from the Santa Barbara Foundation, The Valley Foundation, and private donors.
To order the Solvang, Danish Colony in California DVD for $15, email info@elverhoj.org or call the Museum at 805-686-1211. This will be a keepsake to treasure and an imaginative gift for family and friends.

Weddings at ElverhojWEDDINGS AT ELVERHØJ

The historic building and carefully manicured cottage gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for intimate weddings.  The garden with its abundant year-round blooms and corner gazebo creates a lovely setting for any wedding party. The bell in its stately tower can chime, marking the presentation of the newly married couple.

The garden area comfortably accommodates up to 150 guests. Call (805) 686-1211 for information about availability and the reasonable rates. 

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