Made in America with Foreign Parts

Decorated Spoon

Decorated Spoon

Decorated Spoon
Maker unknown, mid 1800s; decoration attributed to either Carrie H. Larsen or Lars Bakken, c.1900
Wood, paint
Gift of Brian Bigler & Ken Scott
MHAHS 2016.012.0001

In 19th century Norway, utilitarian items such as spoons were carved from wood and used on a daily basis. When packing for a trans-oceanic voyage to America, immigrants included spoons like this as necessary objects of daily use. Decades later, a landscape painting typical of the American Arts and Crafts movement was added to this Norwegian spoon.  And in a manner reminiscent of traditional Norwegian decoration, the names Carrie H. Larson and Lars Bakken were also added. This spoon shows how notions of utility, beauty and heritage evolve in ethnic objects as they move between places and times.


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