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Bigler, Brian J.; Mudrey, Lynn Martinson / The Norway Building of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair : a building's journey from Norway to America : an architectural legacy

Preface,   pp. 4-5 PDF (671.4 KB)

Page 5

Building and a painting of a Norwegian peasant by Blessum was hung in
the entrance building. Another well-known Chicagoan, Ida Sannes, an
artist with needle and thread who was best known in the Colony for cre-
ating the first costumes of the dance group Leikarringen "Heimhug,'
designed curtains for many of the buildings.
On trips to Little Norway in these later years, I have had the good for-
tune to become acquainted with Thea and Asher Hobson, Marcie Winner
and now Scott Winner, curators of Little Norway for more than half of its
existence, and I am more impressed at the dedication they have had to
Isak Dahle's vision of sharing his beautiful things with the public. In quite
a remarkable way they have given of their time and resources to ensure
the objects in the collection were well cared for.
The most recent evidence of the loving care they have given is the
1992 restoration of the Norwegian pavilion's exterior. Its warm, light
brown finish must be very close to how it looked when it was a new build-
ing in Chicago's Jackson Park in 1893. Its charm is undeniable and one
can well understand why visitors to the Fair frequented it often and used
it as a meeting place. Although we are told it was popular with Ameri-
cans of all ethnic backgrounds, one can easily imagine proud Norwegian
parents bringing their American born children there to see a building
something like the stave churches they remembered from their youths in
Over four decades ago my visit to Little Norway one summer Sunday
afternoon awakened my imagination and deepened my appreciation for
my own background. I know my own experience must be multiplied by
thousands and thousands who have visited since the opening in the 1930s.
Today Little Norway continues to have a teaching mission, not only for
Norwegian-Americans but for all Americans.
This carefully researched and well-written volume on the history of
the Norway Pavilion and Little Norway should do much to continue Isak
Dahle's dream.
Rolf Erickson
April 27, 1992
PREFACE      5

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