Sunday, April 21, 2013

Minneapolis American Swedish Institute (4/21/2013)

Sunday, April 21, 2013
A spring visit to see Brynne in St Paul-Minneapolis; Kent & Brynne on her balcony:
Tamiko with the remains of a parking lot snow pile:
First we met Brynne and Paul for lunch at the Blue Door Longfellow, the S Minneapolis branch of the Blue Door Pub, home of the "Juicy Blucy." What's a Juicy Blucy? There are many versions, but the original is the flagship burger (born in St Paul): bleu cheese and finely chopped garlic stuffed into a half-pound of Angus beef.
Time to walk off the burger at the American Swedish Institute, starting in the Nelson Cultural Center:

Opened in June 2012, it is the visitors center for the Institute.
A sign at the gallery hall:
Pun intended for the 1200 Birchwood Plaques exhibit. (When we were there, they were soliciting names for the exhibit. The winner was "Son of a Birch - It's Popular Again.")
How to make a birchwood plaque:
Birchwood plaques usually use old postcards and have a birch tree painted on them:
Next we entered the Turnblad Mansion (as seen from outside):
Built over 5 years from 1903 to 1908 in French Chateauesque-style, designed by architects Christopher Boehme and Victor Cordella, for Swan and Christina Turnblad. Swan Turnblad, a printer, immigrated from Sweden in 1868 and established the largest Swedish-language newspaper in the U.S., the Svenska Amerikanska Posten.  The Turnblads and their daughter Lillian lived in the mansion until 1929, when they donated it and other property to the American Swedish Institute.
The den with a Moorish lamp and ceiling:
By the back wall is one of 11 kakalugnar the family brought from Sweden. Since the house had central heating, the kakelugn/tile stove was mainly decorative.
The Rococo Revival-style chandelier and ceiling in the salon:
The hand-carved mahogany fireplace in the grand hall:
The two figures beside the clock represent Day and Night (it is difficult to see that one has her eyes open and the other has her eyes closed):
The grand hall staircase with one of the carved winged lions:
The grand hall carpet:
The music room has 52 cherubs carved into the woodwork:
The music room carpet is original to the house.
The lower level once held the billiard room, cold storage, laundry and a wine cellar. Now the Benson Gallery has photographs and kids are encouraged to look closely through a scavenger-hunt type game:
A Disney-worthy clock:
On the second floor was an amazing solarium (Kent, Brynne, Paul):
Here it is seen from the outside over the carriage entrance:
The covered radiators in the library:

A kakelugn in the reading room:
Kakelugn detail:
Throughout the mansion were displays of Sami (traditionally called Laplanders) culture artifacts, including this milk bowl used when milking the reindeer:

Sami knitwear:
The mansion turret:
Ballroom stage:
On the stage were reindeer antlers and a carved seat:
The third floor bedroom had flowers that may have been painted by Lillian Turnblad:
Snow dam:
Next, the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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