January 26, 2016
A New Exhibit Opening at North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum features Woodcarvings by Fargo Artist Guy Paulson
BISMARCK – On Jan. 30, a new temporary exhibit titled “Yggdrasil: The Norwegian-American Carvings of Gaylord ‘Guy’ Paulson” will open in the Red River Hall of the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck. “Yggsdrasil” will be on exhibit through January 31, 2017 and was produced by the State Historical Society of North Dakota in cooperation with the North Dakota Council on the Arts.
In ancient Norse mythology, the immense Yggdrasil, or Tree of Life, connects nine worlds including humans, gods, and mythic animals. Artist Guy Paulson carved his Yggdrasil into a fence post made of Rocky Mountain juniper from his family’s ranch in western South Dakota. Paulson created a series of symbols to commemorate important moments in his life. The carving sets on a base of cedar left from the Hopperstad Stave Church replica that Paulson was instrumental in building in Moorhead, Minn. Paulson completed all of the carving, stone work, painting, and ornamentation for the church. The exhibit will also feature traditional carvings such as tine boxes, tankards and a kubbestol (Norwegian stump chair).
Guy Paulson earned a doctorate degree in biochemistry and worked for more than 30 years as a research scientist at a USDA lab in Fargo, ND. His education in Norwegian woodcarving spans 40 years. He learned from books, trial and error, and associating with other carvers. Born in 1937, Paulson was raised on a ranch near Philip, SD, in an area settled predominantly by Norwegian-Americans. While his carvings are of traditional Norwegian design, he is also influenced by America and the rugged American West. His folk art spans the bridge of time and distance between Norway and America.
The State Museum includes additional artifacts relating to Scandinavian history and culture.
Admission to this exhibit and rest of the State Museum is free, seven days a week. The North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit history.nd.gov.
Genia Hesser, 701.328.2102
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