The film “From Turf Cottage to the Cover of TIME’ will be shown Thursday, October 21 at 7 p.m. in King Auditorium on the MSUM campus. The 2009 documentary by Hans Kristján Árnason is the story of Holger Cahill, or Svein Kristján Bjarnarson, who was born in Iceland in 1887 and died in the US in 1960.
Cahill reinvented himself at the age of 27, changing his name, age, and birthplace. He later became acting director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and National Director of the WPA/Federal Art Project (New Deal) appointed by the White House. His mission was to help artists during the Great Depression. He was also the foremost authority on American folk art, writer, novelist, etc.
Cahill rediscovered his family in Winnipeg late in life. His work and vision as head of the WPA/Federal Art Project is claimed to have shifted the capital of the visual arts from Paris to New York.
In this documentary, Hans Kristján Árnason tells the story of Holger Cahill. The film includes interviews with Jane Ann (Cahill’s only child), Wendy Jeffers (art historian), and Reid White (family member).
In Icelandic and English with English subtitles. 55 min. Filmed in the United States of America and in Iceland. It is sponsored locally by the Icelandic Klub of Fargo/Moorhead.