Heritage Memorialized

Chair

Chair
Norwegian-American
Decorated by Oljanna Cunneen, c.1970
Wood, paint
Gift of Ella Mavis
MHAHS 1989.054.0001

Rosemaling not only makes it possible to give new life to old objects, but, in this instance, brings joy where once there was pain. This spindle-backed chair was built c. 1910 and used in the Mount Horeb hospital on Main Street. Although the bentwood handles look inviting, this seat was occupied by those having their tonsils removed. Ella Mavis of Mount Horeb acquired the chair after the hospital closed, and in 1970 she requested it to be rosemaled by local artist Oljanna Cunneen. Through ethnic art the chair became an instrument of warmth and hospitality.

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