Sunday, February 25, 2007

Trygve Rovelstad

Trygve Rovelstad, of Elgin, was a sculptor, a student of Lorado Taft, and member of the Palette and Chisel. He designed a commemorative half-dollar coin for the U.S. Mint, the combat infantry badge, and other military decorations. Apparently he was a photographer as well as sculptor--he took movies of a party at the P&C and took shots of the members displaying their artwork.

When Rovelstad's health failed and he entered a nursing home, his wife, Gloria Rovelstad, wrote to the club to see if the P&C would be interested in the movies he had made and photos he had taken in the 1920's and '30's. Mrs. Rovelstad gave her address and phone number in Elgin where she could be reached.

As I reached the foot of this letter, where Mrs. Rovelstad's phone number appeared, I couldn't claw my cell phone out of my pocket fast enough--but the Rovelstad's phone had been disconnected. That was when I noticed the date on the letter: December 8, 1990.

Trygve Rovelstad has passed away, as has his wife. His papers are at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but the index of that material does not appear to mention the treasure trove his wife once offered so generously to our club.

(The Rovelstad sculptures illustrated here are the founder of Elgin, the pioneer family group in Elgin, the colossal head of a never-completed figure called "I Will" (Chicago's motto), and a long-time state senator.)


Blogger chris miller said...

That big winged head looks a bit silly -- but I'm sure that Taft would have been proud of the idealized heads of his pioneers in Elgin.

He would have had much more success had he lived in Germany.

February 27, 2007  

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