Creating Vesterheim’s Open Air Division, An Interview with Darrell Henning from Vesterheim Vol. 4, No. 1 2006 by Charlie Langton.

In 2021, Vesterheim is completing the renovation of the historic open-air display (formerly known as the Open-Air Division) into Heritage Park. The historic buildings in Heritage Park trace back to the beginnings of the museum at Luther College when C.K. Preus created an open-air display that started with the Egge-Koren log house.

That display was eventually moved from Luther to Vesterheim’s downtown campus and continued to grow. But how did that growth happen? Where did all of the buildings come from, how were they chosen, and how was their history documented? Whose vision was behind this important component of the museum’s collection?

In this fascinating interview from 2006, Darrell Henning, who was instrumental in bringing together these buildings, details the anecdotes, backstories, and adventures of this history. Darrell retired from Vesterheim in 2001, after serving as curator, director, and again as curator. Thank you, Darrell, for sharing this part of the story!

Find more information about Vesterheim’s renovated Heritage Park here.

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