Oljanna Cunneen, 1985
Fabric, copper wire, polymer clay, wood, fur, other on hand materials
Gift of Henry Eckle
For many years this large troll, known as “Knute, Guardian of the Girls,” watched over the tellers at the State Bank of Mount Horeb. This was one of the largest of Cunnen’s troll diorama’s and manifests the same playfulness and adherence to traditional troll legends so common in Cunneen’s work—note the bird’s nest in this guardian’s hair. When the highway was rerouted around Mount Horeb in the mid-1980s, a loss of tourist traffic through the community was expected. Village leaders began a deliberate attempt to attract visitors to the downtown area. The “Trollway” was born and Cunneen found a ready market for her three-dimensional creatures in the many individuals who sought out her work.