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Category:Quarterly 2009 vol3

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The Quarterly is produced entirely with volunteer resources. We have about 40 regular contributors, plus editors, proofreaders and the mail crew. We are proud to attract such accomplished writers. In this issue we feature two new writers, Jeff Huebner and Mika Roinila, who write about two famous Swede Finns: Elmer Forsberg and Erhard Alm.

It is amazing that Elmer Forsberg is not recognized in any Finnish art books. This talented and productive artist was born in Gamlakarleby and immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1891. Forsberg, best known for his Finnish and American landscapes and portraits, was one of Chicago’s most renowned painters of the time. He was also head of the Department of Drawing and Painting at the School of the Art Institute where he studied 1904-08.

Forsberg visited his homeland regularly on art study trips between 1911 and 1925. He befriended great Finnish artists of the Golden Era, among them Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Albert Edelfelt and Pekka Halonen. Also among his acquaintances were Jean Sibelius and Eliel Saarinen.

In reading Jeff Huebner’s article, one must conclude that there is a great danger that Elmer Forsberg and his work will fade into oblivion. The Bethany Lutheran congregation is financially strained and in need of support in maintaining the sanctity of Forsberg’s creations. Is not SFHS’s mission to support Swedish Finn culture and tradition? Should SFHS take the initiative to establish an endowment for the preservation of the Covington Bethany Lutheran Church art treasures, or perhaps, arrange and promote an exhibit of Elmer Forsberg’s art?

Mika Roinila’s article about Erhard Alm brilliantly describes the energy and entrepreneurship typical of many Ostrobothnians. Hardship and obstacles only appear to make them more determined and enthusiastic. Matters of faith play an important role in their lives.

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