Medieval Dannemora Church and its rug: Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson

This is a church where there is a lovely mid-century rug, visible the moment you walk in the door. But it is also a church so utterly packed with other decorative elements, and associated with important Swedish history, that in this blog post the rug will not make an appearance until the very end. So if you find meanders into Swedish history and lots more information than you probably want about medieval religious belief, feel free to cut to the chase and read the last few paragraphs about the rug itself! But if you’d enjoy the ride getting there, here we go….
The Dannemora Church is located a little north-east of Uppsala. This church, of stone and brick,  was built at the end of the 1400s, probably on the site of an earlier wooden church to serve the nearby Dannemora mining community. A rudimentary mine was in operation here by 1481, and by about 1700 there were about sixty mine workers and several hundred others working nearby in related jobs. The congregation of the church consisted of those associated with the mining operation and the community which grew up around that.

A Swedish painter, Elias Martin, captured a view of the mines in a pen and watercolor drawing sometime between 1780-1800. His drawing was the basis for a 1991 Swedish stamp, commemorating these mines which were historically very important to Sweden’s economy.

2.Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 12.34.15 AM
“The Open Pit”, pen sketch with watercolor ca 1780-1800 by Elias Martin, (1739-1818). – Källa för digital version: Kulturmiljöbild: 16001000021036

 

1.Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 12.42.59 AM
Image of 1991 Swedish stamp celebrating the Dannemora mines, based on earlier Martin drawing.

Martin also painted quite precise urban scenes with washy skies, including many views of Stockholm, where he worked, and like this one of the Uppsala Cathedral and surrounding city:

4.Elias Martin View of Uppsala Cathedral from the north, from the Met Museum, image download allowed
Uppsala Cathedral from the North, ca 18th-early 19th c, pen and ink and watercolor by Elias Martin. 5 7/16 x 7 5/8 in. (13.8 x 19.4 cm) In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC; image allowed to be downloaded.

But the mine operations were a good deal more dangerous than Martin’s dramatic but somewhat romanticized images. The production of iron, much of it for export was one of Sweden’s most important industries from the 17th through early 20th-century. The Dannemora mines were a group of about 40 deep steep-sided quarries where iron ore was mined. These early but undated postcards capture something of their appearance and the treacherousness of the operation.

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“The Roof Fall”, view of Dannemora mines, postcard found on Ebay.

 

5.Dannemora Gruvor from twitter promotion of mines as heritage sites
Dannemora Gruvor, image from Twitter discussion promoting recognition of Sweden’s mines as part of her cultural heritage.

These mines produced the iron ore which initially supplied some 20 local fiery forges which turned the ore into bar iron. By the 1700s these mines were a major supplier of bar iron, first in Holland, then in England, and later to other Baltic countries, as well as France and Portugal. But Britain continued to be Sweden’s primary customer. Of the 25,000 tons of iron imported to England in 1730, 20,000 of those tons were Swedish iron.

During the18th century, ore from the Dannemora area, now refined by Walloon forges, was called Öregrunds iron, as it was shipped from Öregrund, a port town about 30 miles north east of Dannemora, on Sweden’s east coast. The Öregrunds iron was considered the best available iron during the 18th century. The Dannemora iron ore from this area supplied the raw material for much British steel used for weapons and tools, most of it made in Sheffield. Underpinning Sheffield’s importance during the industrial revolution and worldwide reputation as a steel city, was the high quality of this Dannemora iron. Subsequently, due to British import tariffs at the beginning of the 19th-century, sales of Swedish iron to England fell, although these losses were offset by the rapidly enlarging American market, and American became, until World War 1, the biggest consumer of Swedish bar iron.

In 1927 a strike closed the mine entirely for 8 years. The mine reopened in 1935. In 1955, a new mining facility was opened, enlarging capacity and production. This renewal of the mine undoubtedly provided the capital and enthusiasm for the 1956-7 renovation of Dannemora church, although the commission of its midcentury rug from the Uppsala County Craft Association had happened a few years previously. The mine continued operations until 1992, when it was closed, but the shift in world markets spurred a reopening in 2012, and the mine is still functioning today.

The church in Dannemora has an appearance typical to medieval churches in the Upplands region, particularly with its ragged stone walls, brick end gables with what are called “blinds,” a kind of inset plaster decoration of crosses and other decorative bands, and wood shingled roof. The small entryway, called an “armory”(“vapenhus” in Swedish) was added about a century later, at the beginning of the 16th century. Here men were expected to leave their weapons when entering the church, Another element apparently typical of many of these particular churches was the location of a window directly behind the altar.

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Dannemora Church exterior, from the road (east). Photo March 6, 2020.

 

8. IMG_4069
Dannemora Church exterior, with south entryway (“vapenhus”).

 

9.Dannemora_kyrka_Zejo Wikimedia cc 2010
Dannemora church from southwest, Photo by Zejo, 2010 via Wikimedia. (Surprise change of season!)

 

9a.Dannemora door Barbro Thorn
Dannemora church, entry door. Photo by Barbro Thörn on Kyrkokartan, with permission.

 

9b IMG_4100
Dannemora church, medieval door hardware.

The interior of the church is remarkable. The “longhouse” or in conventional church language, the nave, is separated from the altar area, called the choir, by a high pointed arch, and vaulted with extraordinary non-structural plaster star vaults. At the rear is an an organ loft with its own multiple star vaults. The plan which follows indicates the location of vaults. The solid black walls show the original plan with sacristry to the north (top) of plan and later entry vestibule (“vapenhus”) shown with cross hatching to the bottom. The altar stands at the east end of the church.

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Dannemora Church, reflected ceiling plan showing locations of vaulting. From http://www.dannemorabygden.se/kyrkhist.htm

Every wall and surface is covered with wall paintings on the plaster. Everywhere are baroque curlicues containing little vignettes of saints or framing larger paintings. These larger frescos have widely varied themes. The wall painting, on plaster, dates from about 1520, and are from what is called the “younger” (ie more recent) Tierp school of wall painting. Tierp is a city nearby and a number of the churches in this area were decorated by painters from this “school” of painters.

10 Dannemora Barbro Thorn
Dannemora church, interior towards altar, 2013 photo by Barbro Thörn via kyrkokartan.se, used with permission.

 

11.Dannemora organloft Tom Wollecki 27 July 2016
Dannemora church, interior towards organ loft, 2016 photo by Tom Wollecki via kyrkokartan.se. Door to entryway is on left hand wall.

 

12IMG_4082
Dannemora church, interior looking up to vaulting over organ at rear of church

 

13 Dannemora Tom Wollecki 27 July 2016
Dannemora church, interior looking from under organ loft to front. 2016 hoto by Tom Wollecki from kyrkokartan.se.

 

14.IMG_4095
Dannemora church, interior wall with decorated window surround  and clear glass windows.

It is impossible for me to give a complete summation here of these paintings (although there is a book devoted entirely to the subject!) The people depicted throughout and drawn from Bible stories and ideas, are of course in contemporary—that is early16th-century —dress. There are images of the life of Christ, Christ teaching his disciples, chasing the money changers from the temple, rising from his tomb, and his ascension into heaven. Oddly, some of these are given more drama and easy-to-see-while-sitting-in-church wall surface, probably the medieval equivalent of more “air time.”

15 teaching IMG_4081
Dannemora church wall painting ca 1520, Christ teaching his disciples on the right, and Christ ascending to heaven on the left (you can tell this is happening because you can see his feet beneath his robe!)

 

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Dannemora church wall painting ca 1520 Detail of the above area. Note Jesus’ shoes left behind on the ground as he ascends! Woosh!

 

17Money changers IMG_4086
Dannemora church wall painting ca 1520, Christ driving money changers out of the temple.
18 Rending tombIMG_4096
Dannemora church wall painting ca 1520, Christ rising from the tomb, with help from the angels. And apparently fulfilling his own prophesy which identified his own body with the temple, from the gospel of John (2:19) ”Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Others illustrate ideas current in the medieval mind, as the three following photographs show:

The photo below shows the “Mercy Seat” (Nådastolen), a concept borrowed from the Old Testament and reconfigured to accommodate Christ. Here God the Father holds Christ the son. I can’t tell if that is the brilliance of the Holy Ghost shining behind, or just a curtain. God sits on his seat, the Mercy Seat, which was the lid of the ark of the covenant. It symbolized God’s heavenly throne, and left a space where God’s presence would appear and dwell with men, with angels on either side.

 

19 Dannemora Mercy seat father son and holy spirit Nådastolen Tom Wollecki 27 July 2016
Dannemora church wall painting ca 1520 Photo by Tom Wollecki from kyrkokartan.se

The image on the right below is probably an image of “Fortune’s Wheel,” an idea introduced by Roman philospher Boethius in his book, The Consolation of Philosophy, in 523 AD. This book was regarded as the second most important book to the Bible in shaping medieval ideas. The basic idea was that some rise and some fall with the turn of fortune’s wheel, and there was not much one could do about it. (I’m not sure what was consoling about this philosophy!)

20 Dannemora paintings incl wheel of life Barbro Thorn
Dannemora church wall painting ca 1520 Photo by Barbro Thörn from Kyrkokartan.

Another wall has  rather gruesome image of Christ’s blood spurting directly into a communion cup. This image takes the idea out of the realm of the metaphorical and makes it directly literal. Maybe too literal?

21 Dannemora Christs blood fills communion cup Barbro Thorn
Dannemora church wall painting ca 1520. Photo by Barbro Thörn from kyrkokartan.se

And then there are confusing images, obviously important for their position in the church (flanking a central Christ figure over the large arch which divides the choir (ie the altar area) from the nave, but not ones which I can entirely sort out. Sitting in the nave this would be high on the wall in front of you. To the left are figures ascending steps; to the right are figures descending steps. This could be something so simple as those headed to heaven and Christ, and those headed to hell, with a monster to the right, jaws open wide and sharp teeth apparent. But why are all the figures on the right carrying jars, and why do they have crowns which seem to be blowing or falling off their heads? And why are they all women, quite elegantly dressed? The ones on the left, whom I didn’t look at quite so carefully at the time of my visit, seem to all be equally well dressed and have their crowns or headgear on straight. You can see that there were many many images that would need quite a bit more time to understand.

22.Confusing Dannemora christ and steps Barbro Thorne
Dannemora church wall paintings ca 1520, over the principal archway. Christ is centered with 5 figures to each side. Photo by Barbro Thörn from kyrkokartan.se
23 IMG_4089
Right hand half of Dannemora church wall painting located over the principal archway. The eye of the beast and the figure closest to its jaws have been cut off due to the angle at which I took this photo. It might have  been useful to see what this woman was carrying.

Other paintings show Swedish saints. I’ll just say that I don’t know for sure which ones these are, or why they are in ships. The best candidates are St. Brigit (Birgitta), patron saint of Sweden and her daughter St. Catherine of Vadstena who lived in the 14th century, that is, practically yesterday, during the building of this church. The two women travelled together to Rome, and then made pilgrimages to various holy spots including Jersalem. It may be one of their journeys shown here. St Eric who was Swedish King Eric the IX, may be the figure in the other ship. He reigned only four years, from 1156-60 but he founded the house which ruled Sweden until 1250, and he is regarded as Sweden’s early lawgiver, and establisher of Catholicism in Sweden. He built the church at Old Uppsala and today his bones rest in a gold-plated sarcophagus in the Uppsala Cathedral.

These two paintings also contain several of the frequently-illustrated devils or misshapen beasts which populate the church walls. It seems apparent that the purpose of the paintings was to hold up models of holy behavior but also to remind congregants in quite graphic terms, of devils waiting to prey on those departing from the path of upright behavior.

24 Sweish saintsIMG_4087
Dannemora church wall paintings ca 1520, from the organ loft. Probably St Birgitta snd St. Catherine of Vadstena on their travels. It looks like the halo-ed Christ may be their spiritual guide, and they may also have a bishop in the bow of the ship.
25IMG_4088
Dannemora church wall paintings ca 1520, from the organ loft. Perhaps St. Eric in a ship, journey unknown. Devils abound.

Devils seem particularly nasty in the entry vestibule. One author, Stephen Mitchell, notes that the choice of these themes in this space was hardly coincidental. He notes that while Bible themes are explored inside the church building, the vapenhus represents “the transitional or liminal space between the outside secular world and the marked holy area of worship.” The church artists apparently wanted to make stark the choices before people, just as they left the church building, whether towards sinful consorting with devils, or to upright godly behavior.

26 Devil IMG_4097
Dannemora church wall paintings early 1600s, next to front door in entryway. Devil enticing woman, while he “helps” with butter churning. Note all the oddities: a man’s face as his genital covering, and other faces at his knees.
27 Dannemora vapenhuset devil Tom Wollecki KK 27 July 2016
Dannemora church wall paintings early 1600s in entryway. Devil with a whip “riding” a woman. This apparently is the same woman whom he “helped” with the butter churning (above). Now undressed, she holds up a quantity of churned butter. Another devil suggestively “poles” nearby. 2016 photo by Tom Wollecki via kyrkokartan.se.

At the time the main body of this church was built, Sweden was an emphatically Catholic country. It became gradually Protestant in the 16th century. Probably the most important images in Dannemora church however, reflect the church’s Catholic heritage, in particular its veneration of Mary.  Ironically, the walls in this church were painted in the 1520s just at the moment that King Gustav I Vasa was steering the country away from Catholicism and toward Protestantism. In 1527, with the approval of the Swedish Diet, he confiscated all church property for the new state and made the Swedish church independent from Rome.

The largest and most significant image in the church is a detailed portrait of Mary standing and holding Jesus which is on the left-hand wall of the choir. This central portrait is surrounded by a three rings of 5 roundels each. Each roundel celebrates some moment in the life of Mary and Jesus. As far as I can tell, these groups of five “events” may correspond to prayers in the Catholic rosary called the Rosary of the Virgin (“rosenkranz madonna”), which has five stages of ten beads each, to help believers learn and remember these various different events. Catholicism also identified Mary with the rose, so there are decorative roses painted around the church both in bands and entwined in the portrait of Mary herself.

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Dannemora church wall paintings ca 1520. Left hand wall of choir with portrait of Mary. Door below leads to sancristy.

 

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Dannemora church wall paintings ca 1520,  Detail of portrait of Mary showing the various roundels with events from her life and that of Jesus,her son.

 

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Dannemora church wall paintings ca 1520 Detail of portrait of Mary herself.

 

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Dannemora church wall paintings ca 1520 from nave, band of decorative roses.

Unlike other Swedish churches with medieval wall paintings, many of which later generations of worshippers found offensive or stylistically out-dated, and plastered over, the Dannemora wall paintings were never plastered over. Church history notes that there was a “hard-handed” restoration, an intended enhancement, in the 19th-century, a restoration which was in turn restored, or rather reversed, in the 1950s in a way intended to remove the heavier over-painting and bring the painting back more to what it was earlier. From what one can tell from 20th century black and white photos, taken before the 1956-7 restoration, the 19th century painting dramatically darkened the church walls.

The 1956-7 renovation did more than soften the over-painted wall paintings. It also reorganized various church fittings and ornament, may have either duplicated or heavily restored several statues, and may even have created new ornamental architectural elements.

Several archival photos provide background for the large statue of Mary which is located on the left hand side of the high arch leading to the altar area. While the 13th- century statue belonged to the church, it was not displayed in this area before the renovation. Given the condition shown in the photo below, it was clearly either duplicated or heavily restored at this time.

32Dannemora_kyrka_maria with baby fragmentary 1300 tal photog unknown Wikimedia
Dannemora Church, 14th-century statue of Mary, photo from before the 1956-7 renovation. Archival photo from Riksarkivet, photographer unknown. File:Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114277.jpg

 

32a Madonna statue Tom Wollecki
Dannemora Church Restored (or remade?) statue of Mary, full-length view. July 2016, photograph by Tom Wollecki via Kyrkokartan.

 

33IMG_4092
Dannemora Church, Present state of Mary statue, close up view.

 

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Dannemora Church, Archival photo of church before 1956-7 restoration. Statue of Mary is not evident on the right wall of the archway, where it stands today. Erik Strand, photographer. Riksarkivet: File: Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114116.jpg.   Note 19th-c era pews, and rya rug in place before 1956-7 restoration.
35 Dannemora Tom Wollecki7-27-16
Dannemora Church, View from the choir of the church into nave, showing current location of Mary statue. July 2016 photo by Tom Wollecki via kyrkokartan.se

The Victorian-style pews (visible in black and white photo above of the church interior) were also replaced in this renovation by more traditional box pews. Note absence in same photo of the wooden obelisks which we will see below.

Three major pieces were donated to the church in centuries following the wall-painting: a baroque pulpit from 1685, and both the carved altar centerpiece, and two wooden obelisks used to mark the entry from nave to choir, were carved 1730-31 by master wood- carver, Erik Lindh. The commission and installation of these during the 17th-18th centuries, undoubtedly reflected wealth being generated by the nearby mines. At an unknown date, both a rather inconsequential altarpiece (which contained but did nothing to enhance the 1730 altar centerpiece) and a heavy communion rail were added at the front of the church and Victorian-style pews and the obelisks were moved next to the altar.

The 1956-7 renovation was undoubtedly funded by the newly enlarged Dannemora mining in operation in 1955, but it also coincided with a wave of Swedish church renovations and modernizations across the country. In the case of this church, the architect, J Fåk, humbly seems to have made no effort to introduce modern elements from his own time period. His intent seems to have been, instead, to enhance as far as possible the medieval quality and baroque elements of the church. To that end this renovation reinstated the obelisks in their original location and respected the pulpit, but entirely reconstructed the altar area. The heavy 19th-century communion rail was replaced by rail consistent with new (old-style) pew design. The photos below illustrate these changes.

38 Dannemora_kyrka_pulpit with arch entry unknown photographer before restoration 56-7
Dannemora Church Interior view with pulpit and altarpiece, photographer unknown. Riksarkivet: File:Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114131.jpg
39Dannemora_kyrka_pulpit.1685 after restoration Erik Strand foto jpg
Dannemora Church Interior view showing pulpit and wood obelisk, after the restoration. Photographer Erik Strand. Riksarkivet: File: Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114124.jpg
40Dannemora_kyrka_after restoration access to pulpit
Dannemora Church interior view looking from choir to nave, showing pulpit access and obelisk in place after restoration. Photographer Erik Strand. Riksarkivet: File:Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114208.jpg

In this renovation, the older altarpiece (date unknown) was replaced by a lovely foliate baroque surround, entirely consonant with the painted walls. What is unclear is whether this was an earlier piece which was found, restored and installed, whether it was assembled from some other architectural woodwork in the church, or if it was an entirely new and highly sympathetic design by the architect of the renovation. The 19th-century window was also replaced with clear glass.

41Dannemora_kyrka_-_KMB_-_16000200114236
Dannemora Church, interior view with communion rail and altar surround of unknown date, before restoration. Photographer Erik Strand. Riksarkivet: File:Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114236.jpg
42 IMG_4070 copy
Dannemora Church, Interior view of altar with foliate wooden frame for 18th-century Lindh “cameo” ornament, added or restored in 1956-7 restoration. Note also changed window glass.
42a IMG_4091
Dannemora church, Interior wall painting detail of 1520’s foliate ornamentation.
43IMG_4078
Dannemora church, Post/1956-7 restoration position of the 1730 Eric Lindh “cameo” wood- carving of the Last Supper in new —or possibly original?—architectural surround. Handsome altar drapery of unknown date and designer as well.

Sometime after the restoration, the obelisks were moved from their 1956-7 “restored” position just in front of the high archway back to where they had been after the 19th- century renovation, and were placed on the front wall of the church to either side of the altar. It is likely that the intent at that point was to make the church more open and more sympathetic to new liturgical approaches,

44 Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 10.27.36 PM
Dannemora church, Post-1956-7 restoration position of the wooden obelisks. Photographer Erik Strand. Riksarkivet: File: Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114123.jpg

The mid-century rya rug which is evident in the choir as soon as you face the altar, was not however, a result of the church renovation. It was in fact in place before the renovation.

44a Dannemora_kyrka_-_KMB_-_16000200114114
Dannemora church, view from nave into choir taken from organ loft before 1956-7 restoration, with rya rug by Ingrid Skerfe -Nilsson in place. Photographer Erik Strand Riksarkivet: File: Dannemora kyrka – KMB – 16000200114114.jpg
46IMG_4070
Dannemora church, view today from nave into choir taken from organ loft showing rya rug by Ingrid Skerfe -Nilsson in place, now placed leading to altar.

The composition of the rug dates from 1951, and justifies the reputation of its designer, Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson. Skerfe- Nilsson had joined the Uppsala County Craft Association (Uppsala läns hemslöjd) as a 27-year old in 1945 as a young pattern designer out of school. She rose rapidly in the organization and became a designer in 1948, designing many many rugs, mostly rya, for local churches, homes, and for sale in the Craft Association shop. An embroidered  message on the back of this particular rug reveals its origins: Skerfe-Nilsson designed the rug but it was knotted by the Dannemora church sewing circle — women of the parish working together to create this rug for their church. In 1952, Skerfe-Nilsson left the Uppsala County Craft Association to found her own atelier in Uppsala where she designed patterns and offered courses in the making of rya rugs (see previous blog post about this).

While she worked for the Uppsala County Craft Association, Nilsson designed two rugs for the church— one for the area visible in the choir and the other for the area just in front of the altar behind the altar rail. There are two rugs today and there are two sketches from the hemslöjd archives. Only one of the sketches, however, corresponds to the rugs in the church, which are very much variations on the same theme. If the sketches showed rugs of the same dimensions, I would think that — as was frequently the case — the hemslöjd designer had offered the church two options for a rug being proposed. But the sketches are different dimensions, which suggests that they were sketches for the two different rugs, It seems that the church preferred to use the first design for both rugs and chose to have Skerfe-Nilsson use her original first design as a model for the second one as well.

45Dannemora1UM41231
Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, Dannemora I, design of rya rug for Dannemora Church choir area rug , specified as 350 x 190 cm. Photo from digital museum.se, identifier number UM41231
45a Dannemora 2 UM41231
Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, Dannemora II, design of rya rug for Dannemora Church area between communion rail and altar, dimensions specified. Upplands museet collection, identifier number UM 41231. Photo from digital museum.se

The grid of Skerfe-NIlsson’s rug design seems to reflect the irregular grid of images on the front wall of the church. And the blue-green tones of the rug tease out the blues from the wall paintings.

48 IMG_4090
Dannemora Church, view in choir toward altar, with rya rug designed by Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson. As originally placed (see archival photo above) this rug ran horizontally, but it works equally well this way.
55 IMG_4071
Dannemora Church, partial view of rya rug in choir.

On the rear side of the choir area rug is an embroidered signature panel indicating that the rug was a git from the Dannemora church sewing circle, year 1951, composed (designed) by I Skerfe-Nilsson, Uppsala County Craft Association. This collective signature is visible in the two following pictures:

50 IMG_4073
Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, First half of signature band on the back the rya rug she designed for Dannamora church. “SKANKT AV DANNEMORA KYRKLIGA SYFÖRENING ÅR 1951…”
51 IMG_4074
Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, Second half of signature band on the back the rya rug she designed for Dannamora church. “…KOMP. I SKERFE NILSSON UPPSALA LANS HEMSLÖJDSFÖRENING”
52 IMG_4075
Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, view of rya rug in choir of Dannemora Church.
52a Dannemora UM41905
Black and White photo with color added, documenting for the Uppsala läns hemselöjd the completed rya rug designed for Dannemora Church by Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, 1951. Upplands museet collection, Identifier UM 41905 Photo from digital museum.se

The rug designed to occupy the space behind the communion rail and in front of the altar uses the same elements but has just a single row of white squares. I am assuming this rug carries the same inscription on the back, but I did not check that at the time.

53 IMG_4076
Ingrid Skerfe- Nilsson, rya rug for area between communion rail and altar of Dannemora Church, 1951. View from the side.
54IMG_4077
Ingrid Skerfe- Nilsson, rya rug for area between communion rail and altar of Dannemora Church, 1951. View from the front.

Rya rugs were very typical of the 1950s-60s. It is gratifying to see how gracefully Skerfe-Nilsson’s large rya “fits” with the Dannemora church which is such a superb example of a medieval Swedish Uppland church. The pile of the rug adds texture and perceptual warmth. And somehow the church’s extensive medieval wall painting and baroque architectural elements seem only enhanced by this quietly colorful and forthrightly geometric rug.

 

56 IMG_4085(1)
Dannemora Church, view from organ loft into choir of church with rya rug by Ingrid Skerfe Nilsson.

 

Sources
Dannemora church visit, 3/6/20. All photos are by me from that visit unless otherwise indicated. Many thanks to the Svenska kyrkan pastorat for arranging my visit and to the sexton for showing me around.

http://www.dannemorabygden.se/kyrkhist.htm

digitaltmuseum.se

eBay

Encyclopedia brittanica https://www.britannica.com/topic/Church-of-Sweden

10 fundamentals of religion in Sweden

https://www.jernkontoret.se/en/the-steel-industry/the-history-of-swedish-steel-industry/

kykrokarten.se, photographs by Barbro Thörn used by permission.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

https://www.themiddleages.net/wheel_of_fortune.html

Riksarkivet photos online via Wikimedia  Identified Kulturmiljöbild, Riksantikvarieämbetet. These photos were provided to Wikimedia Commons by the Swedish National Heritage Board as part of the cooperation project Connected Open Heritage with Wikimedia Sverige.

Su, Minjie, “Sko-Ella: The woman worse than the devil” in https://www.medievalists.net/2018/07/sko-ella-the-woman-worse-than-the-devil/.  Su quotes Stephen Mitchell’s book, Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages, whose quote, I have used here.

10 fundamentals of religion in Sweden

twitter discussion on the cultural importance of the Dannemora gruvor

Wikimedia

Wikipedia

 

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