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Permanent Exhibits

Froiland Plains Indian RoomThe Froiland Plains Indian Room

To step into the Plains Indian Room is to travel back in time a century or more. The items on display reflect the traditional lifestyle of the Sioux Indian People on the Northern Plains. The room contains beaded, quilled, and painted articles of traditional Sioux Indian life. There is also a winter count, various tools and weapons, and a buffalo robe.

The Fantle Scandinavian Room

Fantle Scandinavian Room The room is a replica of a real Norwegian living room in a 19th-century Norwegian house belonging to the Klett family. The original two-story structure was located in Opdal, southern Norway, and represents well the self-sufficient lifestyle led by most of the three million Norwegians and Swedes who came to America between 1800 and the early 1900s. The room contains hand-made furniture from Norway and Sweden collected by Benjamin and Sally Fantle in the 1930s. There are also various objects including rosemaled trunks, a spinning wheel, and utensils.

The Jim Savage Art Studio
Jim Savage Exhibit

The Jim Savage Art Studio represents the democratic spirit of the frontiersman carver, who often found the comic side of life on the Great Plains. Jim was a whittler, like the wood carvers of Scandinavia, and he had much in common with the Sioux Indian craftsman who way of life he admired. Jim's workshop, which was once in the backyard of his home in Sioux Falls, has been reassembled at the Center. Jim's work includes framed busts of Indians and horses and comical cowboy figures.

Display Cases

Six display cases throughout the galleries exhibit a sampling of treasures from the Center's collections including letters and signatures of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson (on loan from Mrs. Elizabeth White), Mari Sandoz, O.E. Rolvaag, Wallace Stegner, and Fredrick Manfred. There is a case dedicated to CWS founder Dr. Herbert Krause and one with fine examples of Plains Indian bead- and quill work from the Sven G. and Marion Froiland Collection.