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Grace Before the Meal, Herbjørn Gausta - Fine Arts
  • Date 1880-1889
  • Place of Origin Telemark, Norway
  • Creator Herbjørn Gausta

This poignant scene features the interior of a Norwegian home. The empty chair is taken to refer to a father who has gone to America, while the family waits for him to send funds so they can join him.

Herbjørn Gausta was born on Gausta Farm, Vestfjorddalen, Telemark, Norway on June 16, 1854. He and his family emigrated to the Harmony, Minnesota area in 1867. He began his education at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, his increasing interest in art led him to Oslo and Munich to train as a painter. In 1888, he returned to Minnesota. Although known today for his Norwegian and Midwestern landscapes and genre paintings, Gausta made his living by producing altar paintings. He died in 1924.

Vesterheim has 52 artworks by Gausta, as well as a large number of photographs taken as studies for paintings.

  • Materials Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions height: 20.5 inches; width: 28.5 inches
  • Identifier / Source 1993.024.001 - Museum Purchase with funds donated by Charles and Marion Gulbransen in memory of their parents Olaf and Signe Gulbrandsen.