Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rock, Paper, Scissors. Swede-style.

So the Saturday after my birthday we made it to the Swedish American Institute, a.k.a. the Turnblad Mansion. I've wanted to see inside this house since I moved to Minneapolis 10 years ago, and to sweeten my birthday fulfillment, the museum has a special exhibition of papercutting. I have always heard this craft called Scherenschnitte but apparently this is the German term for it (means "scissor cuts") and different cultures have other terms for it. This mansion is one of many built along Park Avenue around the turn of the century. Swan Turnblad and his wife Christina had one daughter, moved into this when the daughter was in her mid-twenties. The daughter never married. When the wife died, father and daughter moved into housing across the street from the mansion and donated the house to the American-Swedish Institute which had apparently been Mr. Turnblad's plan when he  designed and built the house. (p.s. Neither Brad nor I have any Swedish heritage. I am just interested in beautiful things and especially love well-made houses. And I love our city and enjoy knowing the people and culture and history that made it what it is. Also, in general, I appreciate much of the design and aesthetic that comes out of Sweden.)

The mansion with the new modern addition.

The mansion has 11 tile stoves, or kakelugnar, shipped from Sweden.

Lovely, wonderful bookcases in the original family library.

A loom, not originally in the house, but part of a Swedish heritage exhibit. This photo is for my mom who had a loom very similar to this in our dining room growing up -- in her sheep/wool/spinning/weaving stage.
Turn of the century Swedish Bibles, hymnals and communion cup.

Cheerful embroidered daisies...Hooray!

The papercutting exhibit was spread through-out the museum and was primarily the work of two artists, Sonja Peterson and Sonya Padilla. I have their work all mixed up together in these photos. Terribly sorry! You can tell Peterson's by the organic-looking "roots" on the bottoms and the colored paper backdrops.

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