Good Shepherd Celebrates Decorah’s “Nisse Lady” Laura Hoeg, 1904-1994

Laura, her husband Victor, and their children Carol and Bob were Charter Members of Good Shepherd.  Her daughter, Carol Hoeg Oliver has recently published a book about her mother, The Curve of Her Life: Folk Artist Laura Hjelle Hoeg. The book is available at Vesterheim’s Museum Store and Dragonfly books. She will be signing her book at the Museum Store on Friday and Saturday of Nordic Fest from 1:00-3:00 p.m. On Sunday, July 30, Carol will attend Good Shepherd’s Nordic Fest worship service and sign previously purchased books during the  Fellowship Hour.

Good Shepherd’s collections of Laura Hoeg’s works will be displayed in the Fellowship Hall this Sunday. Ten Nisse representing a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles will be displayed on the tables and two of her five large Advent-Christmas panels which depict the Nativity of our Lord in pictures and word are hung on the wall. One panel provides the Christmas story from Luke; the other depicts shepherds tending sheep, listening to an angel.  


About the Advent-Christmas Panels …

Five 4×8 feet panels depicting the Nativity of our Lord in pictures and words were created and painted by Laura and first hung on the east wall of the original sanctuary for the Advent-

Christmas seasons of 1959 where they served as a backdrop for the altar. Over the years, these panels have been displayed in the renovated Fellowship Hall during these seasons of the church year; they were featured in 2008 as part of the congregation’s 50th anniversary celebration. Grapevines, leaves, and flowers are integrated into the designs and borders of each panel. When hung in order, the first, third, and fifth pictorial panels depict shepherds tending sheep, listening to an angel; the Holy Family in the stable with angels above; and the Wise Men bearing gifts with the star overhead. The words on the second and fourth panels provide accounts of Jesus’ birth from Matthew and Luke.