Heritage Memorialized

Painting on Masonite, Model Swiss Chalet, and Lawn Windmill

Lawn Windmill Lawn Windmill
Swiss-American
Karl Minnig, 1975
Recycled metal, electric conduit, wood, paint
Gift of Fred & Hilda Bigler
MHAHS 1986.042.0001
Model Swiss Chalet Model Swiss Chalet
Swiss-American
Karl Minnig, 1972
Wood (recycled cheese boxes), glass, stones, fabric, plastic novelties
Gift of William Garfoot
MHAHS 1986.025.0001
Painting on Masonite Painting on Masonite
Swiss-American
Karl Minnig, 1968
Masonite, paint
Gift of Merel Black
MHAHS 2014.068.0001

A proud Swiss immigrant and notable Wisconsin cheesemaker, Karl Minnig enjoyed making ethnic crafts to sell alongside his cheese. Three examples appear here: a “whirly gig” lawn ornament, a small-scale replica of a Swiss chalet and a detailed painting of a Swiss farmyard. The fact that both Karl and his older brother were employed as cheesemakers in Wisconsin suggest an identity rooted in farming and particularly dairying. Karl’s heritage deeply influenced the objects he created and they, in turn, reveal his love and passion for a place, a culture, a memory and an identity.

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Creators, Collectors & Communities by Mount Horeb Area Historical Society is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.