April 25th - A Double Header!

Celebrating Viggo Brandt-Erichsen (b. 1894) and the day “Elverhoy” became a home (1953)

Who is Viggo, you ask?

Artist Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, a native of Denmark, and his New York-born wife Martha, arrived in Solvang in 1949. This artistic couple left a lasting imprint in the community and a legacy that lives on today. Within the year of arrival, they began hand-building their home, Elverhoy, named for the famous Danish folk play, Elverhøj (Elves’ Hill). The couple brought their considerable talents to the home’s design and execution.

The Brandt-Erichsens hand-built home, 1954, would later become Elverhøj Museum. 

After 4 years of construction, the Brandt-Erichsens and their children moved into the Danish-style house on April 25, 1953. It would become a landmark in Solvang and, although Viggo died of cancer in 1955, Martha invited the community in for art salons, fundraising benefits, and art classes for adults and young people.

Martha left a lasting legacy when she donated her home to be a community museum; Elverhøj Museum of History and Art opened to the public in May 1988. Intertwined with the architecture and ornamentation of the building is the story of the artist couple who made it their home decades earlier.

Martha and Viggo Brandt-Erichsen

To commemorate these anniversaries, we invite you to send us a memory or anecdote about Elverhøj, Solvang in the 1950s/1960s, or the Brandt-Erichsen family. Simply reply to this email!

Responses will be shared in a second email the following week. Please indicate if your name can be included with your submission or if you'd like to be anonymous.

Viggo said of Solvang:
When you look for a place and you find Utopia then you stop looking, and say, "There!"

We look forward to hearing from you!

Stay safe,

The Elverhøj Team

Want to learn more about the history of Solvang?
The Spirit of Solvang book is available for shipping or curbside pick-up. Call 805-686-1211 or email info@elverhoj.org to place an order.

$39.95 plus tax
+ $7.95 for shipping

ELVERHØJ MUSEUM of History and Art

1624 Elverhoy Way
Solvang, CA 93463


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