Monday, June 4, 2012


My American grandmother Olga in the winter garden of her villa Lysholmen  (outside Gothenburg) many years ago.

She was born 1890 in New Mexico, grew up in Florida and married my Swedish grandfather when only 18. They met in Paris where he romantically proposed on the Eiffel tower. She was most innocent and had no idea how children were conceived, she had 9. She had many artistic talents, too, as shown below.
She loved to paint flowers. These are some of her many oil paintings.

She also learned to do Chinese Lacquer work in London, probably when there with her husband Folke on one of his many business trips. She decorated this chest, but she also had a carpenter make lamps that she decorated with Chinese lacquer work. She found some of her work in antique shops in Gothenburg years later, sold as genuine.

She proudly told me that she could do the pattern free hand.
This mirror goes with the chest

This is one of many bridge tables she made and decorated.The square in the middle is black silk where the cards are placed.
Grandmother Olga was the head of the Red Cross at Saro, and here she is with king Gustav V to whom she gave two Chinese lacquer work bridge tables.
She painted these birds on several layers of glass, obtaining a three-dimensional effect
She was also interested in Swedish Folk Art and made this bridal chest.
She gave it to the Red Cross Lottery sometime in the 1950s, filled with linen. 
My mother was lucky to win it, so it stayed in the family.
The insides of the bridal chest.

Detail of the inside of the bridal chest.
This is a handmade Swedish wooden basket decorated by grandmother.
More of her Swedish Folk Art decorations.
I loved to spend time with my super-interesting grandmother and she was pleased to see later in life, that I had taken up the tradition of painting Swedish folk Art also.
This was originally a thin wooden ladle, used to put bread into big  wood fired ovens.

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