The Danish Immigrant Museum Receives Gift to Endow Curator Position
June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
Officials with the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn have announced a gift and pledge of $750,000 from the Albert Victor Ravenholt Fund of Seattle, Washington, to endow the position of curator of exhibitions currently held by Tova Brandt. Museum officials say over time, they hope the endowment will grow to exceed $1 million.
The endowment of the position – named the Albert Ravenholt Curator of Danish American Culture – ensures that there will be a permanent, professional staff person with the knowledge and training to study and interpret through exhibits and programming the unfolding story of Danish-Americans. Creating such an endowed position reflects The Danish Immigrant Museum’s commitment to conserving and interpreting this story for future generations.
Albert Ravenholt’s story is a fascinating one. Born in rural Luck, Wisconsin, he, his parents and eight siblings experienced the depths of the Great Depression. Despite loss of the family farm, he and his brother and sisters all went on to have interesting careers. Albert became a noted journalist and expert on Asian affairs, serving as correspondent and Asian bureau chief for United Press International and ultimately a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs at Harvard University. While a student at Grand View College, he wrote letters in Danish home to family in Luck that revealed his appreciation for his Danish heritage. This feeling continued throughout his life and is evident among family members today.
Current Curator of Collections, Tova Brandt, will now assume the title Albert Ravenholt Curator of Danish American Culture. Prior to joining The Danish Immigrant Museum staff in 2009, Brandt served as curator of non-textile artifacts at Vesterheim, The Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. For more information about the museum, log on to www.danishmuseum.org.