Pauline Fjelde Day

Resolution 2011R-245

by the Minneapolis City Council
Glidden, Reich, Gordon, Hofstede, Johnson, Samuels, Lilligren, Schiff, Tuthill, Quincy, Colvin Roy, Hodges

Honoring the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the birth of Pauline Fjelde.

Whereas Pauline Gerhardine Fjelde was born in Aalesund, Norway, on May 16, 1861; and

Whereas, Miss Fjelde immigrated to the United States in 1887 and, with her brother sister Thomane and soon found success as an artist in Minneapolis, and

Whereas, in 1893, Pauline Fjelde was commissioned with her sister, Thomane, to embroider the first Minnesota State flag (used from 1893 to 1957); and

Whereas, Miss Fjelde’s handiwork won her numerous awards, most notably a gold medal for her work on the Minnesota state flag which was presented at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, a celebration held to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to America; and

Whereas, Pauline Fjelde supported herself independently through the establishment and operation of a commercial embroidering enterprise in downtown Minneapolis, a business which was successful enough to weather a major, nationwide depression, and also enabled her to finance her own European travel and research trips; and

Whereas, members of the Twin Cities’ most prominent families, including the Walkers, the Hills, and the Pillsburys commissioned works from this immigrant woman of humble beginnings; and

Whereas, Pauline Fjelde spent her final days teaching her sister and a colleague how to complete her masterpiece Hiawatha tapestry, a decade-long endeavor undertaken to visually depict Longfellow’s ode to early life in Minnesota; and

Whereas, Miss Fjelde symbolized the upward mobility of a single woman as well as Norwegian immigrants during a period of time when both demographic groups experienced difficulty establishing themselves; and

Whereas, May 16, 2011 marks the one-hundreth-fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Pauline Fjelde; and

Whereas, the Daughters of Norway, Pauline Fjelde Lodge #51, dedicated to uniting into a sisterhood women who wish to preserve Norwegian heritage, intends to host a celebration to commemorate the birth of their namesake;

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved by the City Council of The City of Minneapolis;
that the one hundredth & fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Pauline Fjelde be recognized for its significance to the City and State.

Adopted 5/13/2011


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