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Dear Friends:
NEW YORK, N . Y. 10007
December 5, 1998
Greetings to all members and guests of the American Scandinavian Society, as
you join together this evening to celebrate your 90
The American Scandinavian Society is a non-profit, charitable organizati on
dedicated to nurturing the bonds between the Scandinavian community in New York,
and their home nations.
On behalf of our City, I am pleased to recognize the American Scandinavian
Society for their work on behalf of the Scandinavian community here in New York City.
Please accept my best wishes for an enjoyable evening.

Dear Friends:
Rudolph W. Giuliani
November 1998
I am pleased to offe r my congratulations to the American Scandinavian Society of New York
as you celebrate your 90
year of service 10 the Scandinavian community and the community-at-large.
The citize ns of the Empire State recognize the important contributi ons made hy the many
cu ltural heritages thai enrich and revi talize our great State. The multi-cul tural landscape of our
society has greatly henefilled from the e011lributions of people of Scandinavian ancestry. and we arc
fUrlUlliHe 10 be the home o f organiza ti ons such as yours which work dilige ntl y and successfull y to
maintain the cultural bonds that keep the rich Scandinavian heritage flourishing in New York Stale .
I comme nd the Ame ri can Scandi navian Society for its efforls. over the past 90 years, which ha ve
helped to recognize and reaffi rm the role Scandinavian Amcric,llls ha ve had in shaping Ihe American
way of life.
Best wi shl.!s as you this histori c mi lestone and cont inucd success in the futurc.
Very truly yours.
3!,)appy 90th Anniversary! In celebrating our Society's
90th birthday, the occasion truly honors the strength and vitality
of the Nordic community in the tristate area!
It all began 90 years ago with a splendid idea of a number
of Americans and Scandinavian-Americans in New York to fur-
Niels Poulson
ther the educational ties between the
U.S. and the Scandinavian countries.
The organizing meeting of the
, American-Scandinavian Society was
held at the Hotel Astor in November
1908, Nicholas Murray Butler,
President of Columbia University
was elected as it's first President. The
Society was funded by Niels
Poulson, a Danish immigrant and
successful Brooklyn industrialist.
His vision of cultural/educational ties between the U.s. and
Scandinavian countries was made possible by his financial sup-
port of our Society in 1910, when he established a trust fund of
$100,000. However, New York law required an organization be
incorporated to handle large trust funds. Niels Poulson therefore
resolved to give stability to the work planned by creating a foun-
dation with a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. Suggestions
were made by others that the projected foundation should be
named the Niels Poulson Foundation, but according to the
founder' s own wishes it was incorporated under the name of The
American Scandinavian Foundation. The act of the incorporation
was signed by Governor John A. Dix on March 16, 1911.
The Society continued its cultural! education work and in
1919 became the Foundation's first chapter; the New York Chapter
of the American Scandinavian Foundation. In 1982 the Trustees of
the American Scandinavian Foundation decided legally to

dissolve its ties to all its chapters nationwide. As a result the New
York Chapter after 63 years became an independent organization
and incorporated as a non-profit, tax exempt, member supported
society. We resumed our original name American Scandinavian
Society and have successfully continued our mission of present-
ing cultural programs of art, literature, drama, dance, music and
The significant difference between our Society and other
pan Scandinavian organizations rests with the fact that the
American Scandinavian Society of New York exists solely for and
through its members and for the cultural and educational events
it provides. The Society does not involve itself in educational
grants or student exchange.
It is important to note that our Society continues, in its
90th year, to grow in membership and influence within the pan
Scandinavian community in the tri-state area. It clearly demon-
strates to our membership, the diplomatic community and the
governments of each of the five countries, the special place and
significance of the Society's work.
The vitality and vigor of the American Scandinavian
Society can best be seen through the multiplicity of our activities.
We have offered many programs encompassing a multitude of
subjects. Here are a few samples:
1983-4 Our season started September 19
at the Explorers
Club with the opening of the Amundsen Photo
Exhibition and a gala reception. This exhibition was
loaned by the Norwegian government. A grant from
Exxon permitted the publishing of a catalogue, the
mounting of the exhibition and security services made
it accessible to the public for two weeks
The music of Sibelius, Carl Nielsen and Edvard Grieg
was played and sung at the Carnegie Recital Hall on

January 11 th There followed a large and festive smor-
gasbord featuring beers, aquavit and liqueurs of
On May l4th the Danish National Orchestra played at
Carnegie Hall followed by a gala reception at Cafe
The 1983-84 season closed on June l2th with Svend
Asmussen and his trio playing at Carnegie Recital Hall
followed by a Scandinavian buffet catered by the
restaurant, Old Denmark
1985 An afternoon lecture by Marianne Juhl on the Danish
author Karen Blixen
Celebrating the Art of Dance as Martha Graham
received the Carina Ari Medal from Princess Christina
of Sweden
Fashion Show at the Tavern on the Green featuring
Finnish furs modeled by some of the most beautiful
Scandinavian models.
Finnish Glass Exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt
Museum by Curator David McFadden. He spoke of
the famous Finnish glass craft and its history
Concert for Finland at St. Peters Church, N.Y. in cele-
bration of the 150
Anniversary of Kalevala
1986 An evening with the Swedish Folkdancers of New
York at the New York Genealogical Society auditori-
um. This folkdance group is the oldest in the United
States, having been founded in 1906
A Grand Bus Tour. Jay Gould's Gothic revival estate
overlooking the Hudson. Lunch buffet at the Atrium
of Arrowood. Neuberger Museum (of Suny) in
Purchase followed by a visit to Pepsico Sculpture
Bengt Hallberg-playing improvisations and his
arrangements on the most beloved folk music of all
five Nordic countries
1987 A Spring Outing. A day at the nationally renowned
Culinary Institute of America. Luncheon of French cui-
sine in the Escoffier Restaurant and a guided tour of
the Institute's facilities
A Cruise on the Hudson River from Garrison, New
York on the Mj V Commander. Buffet bnmch and
musical entertairunent
1988 A Celebration of Finland's 70
Anniversary of
Independence at the National Arts Club with guest
speaker His Excellency Dr. Keijo Korhonen followed
by cocktails and dinner
"Three Faces of Iceland." Mr. Magnus Magnusson, a
writer and broadcaster with the BBC in Scotland spe-
cializing in history, archaeology, and the Old Norse
studies, gave a talk at the Explorers Club
1989 Scandinavian Waterways at the Explorers Club.
Lecture by Bengt Gyllenhof
Elsa Waage, soprano, our Cultural Grant Award
Recipient, performed at the Dag Hammarskjold
Library at the United Nations
Garden Party on Dr. Charles and Mrs. Ellen Brush roof
garden by special invitation for potential new "Young
Outing to the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia. Lecture
by Art Historian Charlotte G. Gluck
1990 A visit to four artists at their studios in SoHo: Poul
Janus Ipsen, Denmark; Kari Walden, Finland; Hunt
Sionem, America; Siri Berg, Sweden
Triple header event at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in
connection with the Flora Danica Exhibition and a lec-
ture on Swedish botanist Carl Von Linne
"Spring Is Here Party. " The American Scandinavian
Society and the American Scandinavian Foundation,
in a combined venture, invited members of both
organizations and their guests to a spring luncheon at
the Tavern on the Green, honoring Princess Benedikte
of Denmark
1991 Swedish mezzo-soprano Charlotte Hellekant orches-
tral debut in New York, with the Riverside Symphony
at Lincoln Center. A reception followed at the Swedish
Residence of Consul General Arne Thoren
Excursion to historic West Point, U.s. Military
Academy. After the Guided Tour and watching the
Dress Parade with 2100 cadets, lunch was served in
the Officer's Club
Fall color excursion to Benmarl, America's oldest vine-
yard, overlooking the Hudson River. Guided Tour by
the owner and well known illustrator Mark Miller,
Winetasting and Luncheon
Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 4 was performed by the
Riverside Symphony at Alice Tully Hall. Following
the concert, a reception to meet the conductor and
musicians at the home of Deputy Consul General of
Finland, Mr. Tatu Tuohikorpi and Mrs. Tuohikorpi
1992 Scandinavian Skating Party at the Wollman Rink in
Central Park co-sponsored by the American
Scandinavian Foundation
"Viking Life Eternal" at the Explorers Club; Lecture by
Dr. Haraldur Bessason.
The armual Ugly Duckling's Birthday Party.
Storytelling at the Hans Christian Andersen Statue in
Central Park
"Vinland Revisited" video presentation of the Viking
ship Gaia's voyage across the Atlantic at the Seamen's
Institute. Reception with Captain Ragnar Torseth. Co-
sponsored by the American Scandinavian Society
1993 Celebrating the music of Edward Grieg. the young,
prizewinning, Norwegian pianist, LeiI Ove Andsnes,
had his New York debut at the Kaufman Concert Hall
followed by a private reception
A lecture by John Bjornebye, Consul General of
Norway. "Exploration and everyday life in the Viking
Age" and Norwegian music performed by Flutist
Ellen Bjornebye-at the Explorer's Club
Guest appearance by Stockholm's Spegelteatern
"Beyond the Rainbow" at Deutsches Haus, sponsored
by Columbia University Swedish Program
Nordic Poetry Festival, two days of readings by 50
Scandinavian poets at the Cooper Union, co-spon-
sored by all the Scandinavian Consuls General
"Grieg, Edvard Grieg," a one-man theater piece writ-
ten and performed by Rolf Stang at the Little Theater,
Citi corp Center
1994 Jytte Willumstad guided us through "The Golden Age
of Danish Painting" at the Metropolitan Museum of
Martin Rambusch guided us through the masterful
works of painted murals, stained-glass windows, art-
fulli ghting, etc. at the Rambusch Studio, founded 85
years ago by his Danish famil y
The Norwegian pianist. Havard Gimse, made his US
solo debut, playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto Nor. 5
with the Riverside Symphony and Lincoln Center. The
Consul General of Norway gave a pre-performance
reception, and Society members met the artists at a
champagne reception following the concert
Private viewing of the distinguished architect Der
Scutt's extraordinary collection of Ship Models,
Paintings and Cutaways
A reception at the Waldor-Astoria to honor Her
Excellency, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the President of
Iceland. Co-sponsored by the Icelandic American
Society of New York
Jelly Roll! - the Music and the Man, staring Virnel
Bagneris and Morten Gunnar Larsen - Off-Broadway
at the 47th Street Theater. On-stage wine reception to
meet the performers following the play
1995 The American Scandinavian Society & the Norwegian
Seamen's Church presented Kirsten Flagstad - a
Centenary Celebration, created and hosted by Rolf
We sponsored two lectures: Developments in Finnish
Decorative Arts - 1875 to the present and The
Evolution of the Norwegian Silver Design - 1600 to
1850 at the Bard Graduate Center
We sponsored the lectures; The Glory of Swedish
Glass and Danish Furniture Design and Innovation in
Danish Ceramics at the Bard Graduate Center
Arnaldur Arnarson - Guitarist in Concert at the
Norwegian Seamen's Church
Jytte Willumstad guided us through the paintings of
Edward Munch and Harald Sohlberg, "Landscapes of
the Mind" at the National Academy Museum
1996 An evening with Bellman. Visans Vaninnor performed
at the residence of the Swedish Consul General
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra performed at
Carnegie Hall, Pre-Concert dinner at Christer's and a
post-concert reception at the home of the Icelandic
Ambassador to the United Nations
The Mika Pohjola Trio. A.s.S. 1996 Cultural Grant
Winner at the Blue Note
Siri Hustvedt Reading, "The Enchantment of Lily
Dahl" at the residence of the Norwegian Consul
1997 Masterdass with Elisabeth Soderstrom, the world
renowned Swedish soprano, Lincoln Center
Lecture by Professor Brad Leithauser on Nobel Prize
winner Halldor Laxness' book "Independent People",
Kong Olav V's Church
Jaakko Kuusisto, violin and Ilkka Paananen, piano, St.
Peter's Church co-sponsored by the Sibelius Society
An Evening with Tone Vigeland, Norway's foremost
jewelry designer, Cooper-Hewitt Museum
Tour of Kykuit, The Rockefellers' impressive country
Stein way Hall Recital with Nina-Margret Grimsdottir,
Nina Crothers and Ragin Wenk-Wolf
1998 Talk by Peter Hessellund-Jensen "Scandinavian
Citizen-Immigration and Estate Laws of the U.s.A." at
Society of Illustrators
Book Party with Han. Dag Sebastian Ahlander at the
residence of the Swedish Consul General with Swea
Trip to Washington, D.C. and tour of the Finnish
An evening with Johan Molander at Society of
This is all accomplished by volunteers, the Society has no
paid personnel. We continue to operate as we have since our
founding with only volunteers who make up our elected Board of
Officers, Directors, Program Committee and Art Committee.
The programs offered to our members throughout the
years would fill a large book and continues to be the raison d' etre
for our society. These events are a true reflection of the Program
and Art Committee's effort to seek out, organize and coordinate
an entertaining and informative evening. The speaker, musicians,
artists, invitations, food, location and budget are but a few of the
considerations of an event.
These volunteers, many of whom have served the Society
for one, two and three decades are the glue which holds our
group together. Their constant devotion and tireless effort on
behalf of our membership is responsible for our continued success
in offering programs of interest to our American Scandinavian
Our membership represents all walks of life and the
majority reside in the greater metropolitan area of New York,
New Jersey and Connecticut, however, we boast of members in 13
states and the District of Columbia, who often attend our meet-
ings and especially our annual Christmas Ball. Our membership
includes Sponsors, Corporations, Life members, Honorary mem-
bers and Regular members. Our total membership has been grow-
ing steadily and is approaching 500.
Our Christmas Dinner-Dance has been a special highlight
of our season since the earliest beginnings of our Society. The cen-
ter fold of this commemorative issue is a photo of the first formal
evening held in February, 1909. This evening affords our members
an opportunity to gather at the start of the Holiday season and to
many is the real beginning of the Christmas holiday. Our Lucia
procession is an honored part of this Gala evening, and the par-
ticipa tion of the children and grandchildren of our members a
long tradition. This occasion has been celebrated in a number of
landmark locations in the city such as the Waldorf Astoria, the
Pierre Hotel, and currently the Metropolitan Club. The Grand
:First 13anquet of the Jlmerican Scandinavian Society
:fe6ruOl'!J ' 5, .1909

Ballroom is festively decorated with a holiday theme. A warm
greeting awaits those in attendance, with cocktails, dinner and
dancing the order of the day.
The Society's Art Committee was organized in the days of
the New York Chapter by Elfi Alvin and has been an outstanding
success from the beginning! Exhibits of all types of media from
the five Scandinavian countries have been offered to our members
and friends of the Society. The Committee has invited artists to
exhibit their works in various galleries, with the Society under-
writing all or part of the expense. Tours of artists studios and dis-
cussions with the artists have been arranged for our members.
Here is a sample of exhibits:
1980 Finnish Constructivism in cooperation with the
Artists' Association of Finland under the sponsorship
of the Finnish Ministry of Education
L' Anse aux Meadows: A Viking Set tlement in the New
World in cooperation with the Archaeological Institute
of America
Seventeen Icelandic Graphic Artists
Benny Motzfeldt, Norwegian glassmaker in coopera-
tion with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling
Exhibition Service
Swedish Art in Silver in cooperation with the Society
of Contemporary Swedish Silver
Finnish Ryijy Rugs by Sixteen Contemporary Finnish
artists in cooperation with the Finnish Society of Crafts
and Design and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling
Exhibition Service
1982 Scandinavian Post-Modern Architecture in coopera-
tion with the Louisiana Museum of DelU)lark
Lapland - Art of the Sami in cooperation with the

National Museum of Stockholm and Riksutsallningar
1983 Five Expressions from Scandinavia by unique invita-
tion from the Nippon Club as part of their cultural
exchange program, our members were invited to par-
ticipate in their lectures and enjoy their restaurant
1984 Five Icelandic Graphic Artists - These diverse artists
reflect the rugged mood of their country in sensitive
Nordic Moods - ExquiSite landscape interpretations in
different media by Osmo Vissure, Finland, Reino
Aarnio, Finland, Kaara Boe, Norway, and Iver Jaks,
Poul Ancher Bech, Danish realist/ expressionist
1985 Danish Jewelers and A Weaver - Diverse expressions
of Scandinavian design in precious metals and jewels,
offset by complex and intricate miniature weavings
1986 Poul Janus Ipsen, Danish figurative painter
1987 Arve Tollan, Norway - MOlmtains and fjords in a new
And Y Warhol - Silkscreens of Hans Christian
Anderson's paper cutouts
1988 Lennart Nilsson, "The Landscape Within Us", photo-
Kaare Tveter, Norwegian Painter of Light
Philip von Schantz, famous Swedish painter and
1989 Five Scandinavian Artists, Kari Walden, Thor
Furulund, Vignir Johannsson, Mette Petri, Peter
Three Finnish Artists (Finnish Light), Marjukka
Kaminen, Lasse Kempas and Krokfors
Danish Contemporary Art from the Collection of
Ambassador John Loeb
1990 An Tour ofSoho Artists: Poul J. Ipsen, Kari Walden,
Hunt Sionem, Siri Berg
1991 Nordic Art/New York: Kurt Borge Simonsen,
Denmark; Mari Rantanen, Finland; Gudjon
Bjarnasson, Iceland; Solfrid Mortensen, Norway;
Madeleine Hatz, Sweden
1992 Jal'lno Makila, Finland
1993 Purity of Form, 3 Icelandic Artists: Gudny
Magnusdottir, Gudrun Kristjansdottir, Borghildur
Lisette Kampman, Paintings on Silk, Denmark
1994 Johanna Boga, Dynamics from Iceland
1995 A Tribute to Ingmar Bergman; 20 Swedish Artists:
Hakan Alfredson, Siri Berg, Nane Cronstedt, Johan
Falkman, Hans Frode, Irene Pluntky Goedecke,
Madeleine Hatz, Katarina Isaksson, Anders Knutsson,
Maria Miesenberger, Aleksandra Mir, Jan Peterson,
Tana Ross, Bjorn Runquist, Ann-Sofi Siden, Martin
Sjoberg, fume Thulin, Stefan Umaerus, Peter Astrom
Kristina Uusitalo, Finland
1996 Artists in their Studios, Guided tour of art colony in
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Lyric Art from the North, Art from four Scandinavian
countries on exhibit at the Unibank Gallery
1997 Anne Vilsboll, Steen Lundstrom, Denmark Exhibition,
Unibank Gallery
1998 Poul Lange, Denmark; Marianne Falk, Finland
Exhibition, Unibank Gallery
An example of the excitement and vitality of the work of
the Society. We are young and healthy in our 90
We are proud to have as our honorary members the five
Consuls General of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and
Sweden. They have supported the work of the Society, have par-
ticipated in and co-sponsored many functions throughout the
years. We are forever grateful for their cooperation and continu-
ing support.
We have called the Norwegian Seamen's church home
since 1985 and are indeed fortunate to have such a beautiful and
fitting location for our office and many of our events. The warm
and welcoming environment contributes greatly to our ability to
present outstanding programs in the church.
Upon resuming our original name and incorporating as an
independent, nonprofit, membership organization, our first
President Charles F. Brush, PhD., guided our reorganization and
through his generosity of time, talent and resource, made his
office and staff available to the Society. He arranged for the cre-
ation of our logo through his association with a fine graphic
designer Bob Pearlman who generously donated it to the Society.
These early years were filled with excitement, tension,
uncertainty and a great desire to succeed by our volunteers and
committee members.
President Michael Halpern and his wife Neel, were heavi-
ly involved in the formative years of the Society's reorganization,
offering office and staff in support of our work. Our succeeding
Presidents: Michael Carey, Marie Louise Hedlund, Peter
Hessellund-Jensen and our current President Vibeke Steineger
have all contributed generously of their time, talent and resource
in guiding the society to the successful organization it is today!
-Administration -
Charles Brush - President
Neel Halpern - Program Chairperson
Michael Halpern - President
Edda Magnusson - Program Chairperson
Michael Carey - President
Edda Magnusson - Program Chairperson
Michael Carey - President
Harriett Nilsen - Program Chairperson
Marie Louise Hedlund - President
Harriett Nilsen - Program Chairperson
Marie Louise Hedlund - President
Bente Connell - Program Chairperson
Marie Louise Hedlund- President
Vibeke Steineger - Program Chairperson
Peter Hessellund-Jensen - President
Vibeke Steineger -Program Chairperson
1997-8 Vibeke Steineger - President
Leena Scutt - Program Chairperson
1982-Present Peter Hesselhmd-Jensen, Esq. Counsel
- Lifetime Members -
Erik J. Friis
Edward H. Michaelsen
Elfi von Kantzow Alvin
Ib Alvin
A source of satisfaction and accomplishment for the
Society is the annual awarding of cultural grants to men and
women of outstanding ability in art, music, dance, literature and
drama. The grants are coordinated by the Chairperson of the
Cultural Grants Committee and made through a selection process
involving the six vice presidents, representing each country,
selecting the recipients. The awards are presented in the Spring
following the Society's annual meeting, and are funded by adver-
tisements in the Gala Journal. Our Board of Directors decides each
year the size and number of grants to be made. During the past 13
years, the American Scandinavian Society has awarded over
$100,000 in cultural grants to more than 80 individuals and organ-
Through the years much has been written about the
Society's Christmas Ball, as the "real beginning of the Holiday
Season", the "best of the Holiday dinner-dances", "the most beau-
tiful, the warmest, most friendly Ball!", "a great and wonderful
evening". All true! Our Christmas Dinner-Dance is the highlight
of our season and one of intense preparation and planning. The
Program Committee decides and arranges the many details of the
evening: the orchestra, the venue, the menu, the wine selection,
flowers, favors, the Lucia and the participating children, the guest
list and the invitation. All done by volunteers, willingly, gladly
and enthusiastically. This truly outstanding evening has been a
tradition for decades!
A word about our finances. As a volunteer, non-profit,
membership organization in New York City, it is increasingly
expensive to operate our Society. The cost of doing business,
including office rent, equipment, supplies, mailings, newsletters
and presenting our programs keep increasing.
We are dependent on member dues and the generosity of
our "Sponsor" memberships ($100+) and Corporate support to
meet our operating expenses.The Christmas Gala Journal, our
annual fund raising effort, generates revenues for our cultural
grants and other membership activities. The ads purchased by
companies and individuals provides the bulk of our funds. It is
our hope the Society will be the beneficiary of increased support
by the Scandinavian-American business community in the
corning years, in order that we may continue our important work
of bringing cultural, educational, artistic and musical programs to
the Nord ic community.
We are most grateful to our members, sponsors and corpo-
rate advertisers for their continuing support and extend to each a
sincere thank you.
We look forward to the coming years which will be filled
with exciting events sponsored by our Society, events which
continue to provide a showcase for the very best in Scandinavian
creativity and culture.
American Scandinavian Society of New York, Inc.
Vibeke Steineger
Robert W. Warner, Jr.
Liberty Graphics
About The Cover
Elfi von Kantzow Alvin - a Swedish-Austrian artist,
fOlmder and chairperson of the Society's Art Committee has been
curator of more than 50 Scandinavian art exhibits. Elfi is also a fine
painter, interior designer of homes, restaurants, lobbies and offices.
She has designed costumes and sets for theatrical productions both
here and in Stockholm. Elfi has studied art and design in l3 udapest,
Vienna, Stockholm, Milan, Paris and New York. She is a tireless
member of our Society and someone who has enriched all of us
through her energy, creativity and uplifting spirit.
( Iml S TINE Tooo

Dear Friends:
P O BOX 001
December 1( , 1998
I (1m deli g hted to extend warm greetings to everyone attending the
American Scandinavian Society of New York's Christmas Gala.
As the Society celebrates 90 years of service, r offer my cong ratulations
and applause. May the Society's rich tradition of community involvement and
s trong cul tural ties between the United States and the people o f Norway,
Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark conti nue to grow in the years and
decades to come.
My best wishes for a memorable anniversary celebration and a joyous
holiday season.

Christine Todd Whitman
The NOlWegian Seamen's Church;
American Scandinavian Society of New York, Inc.
315 East 52nd Street
New York, New York 10022