Title Details

232 Pages

20.3 x 25.4 cm

86 b/w & 82 colour illus.

Imprint: RIT Press


The Arts and Crafts Colony at Milton-on-Hudson

by William B. Rhoads and Leslie Melvin

  • Description
  • Contents
Elverhoj (Danish for "hill of the fairies," pronounced "El-ver-hoy") was an Arts and Crafts colony established on the picturesque west shore of the Hudson River in 1912 by Danish American artists and craftsmen led by Anders Andersen.

Little known today, the colony achieved a national reputation before World War I and earned a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. That same year a write-up in Gustav Stickley's Craftsman magazine with photos of the rustic studios added to the colony's growing fame.
As part of the William Morris-inspired Arts and Crafts movement, Elverhoj experienced a decline in the 1920s, partially offset by the opening of a theatre with links to Broadway and the addition of a Moorish-style dining terrace. Still, the Depression dealt a fatal blow, despite Andersen's enlisting the help of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the property was acquired by followers of the charismatic Black leader Father Divine, becoming one of his most popular "heavens." Andersen died in obscurity in 1944. Many of the book's more than 160 illustrations stem from an archive kept by Andersen that has only recently come to light.
Illustration Notes and Abbreviations

Chapter One. Anders H. Andersen: From Denmark to the American Midwest
Chapter Two. From Racine to Milton and the Creation of the Elverhoj Company
Chapter Three. The Site Andersen Acquired and Its Transformation for the Colony
Chapter Four. Andersen's Beliefs and Ideals
Chapter Five. Elverhoj Craft and Art Achieves a National Reputation
Chapter Six. Three Important Visitors to the Colony: Elisabeth Luther Cary, C. R. Ashbee, and Hanna Astrup Larson
Chapter Seven. World War I and the 1920s at Elverhoj: The Decline of the Arts and Crafts, the Rise of the Theatre and Moorish Dining Terrace
Chapter Eight. Vassar College Connections
Chapter Nine. The Women of Elverhoj: Craft as Cottage Industry, Craft as Cure
Chapter Ten. The Colony's Appeal for Students and Vacationers
Chapter Eleven. Elverhoj's Failure, Despite Eleanor Roosevelt's Best Efforts
Chapter Twelve. Andersen's Last Years, Death, and Legacy
Chapter Thirteen. The Colony Property after Andersen's Death

Timeline of the Elverhoj Colony
Appendix I. Secondary Figures
Appendix II. Shops in Poughkeepsie
Appendix III. Selected Patrons Named in Elverhoj Publicity
The Elverhoj Archive and Other Sources
The Authors



February 2023

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Title Details

232 Pages

2.03 x 2.54 cm

86 b/w & 82 colour illus.

Imprint: RIT Press