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“Before the rug dealer Peter Pap rediscovered Frida Hansen’s ’Southward’ in Maine last year, the majestic tapestry, on which ten red-headed maidens ride swans across the very stylized, Japanese-looking sea, hadn’t been seen since a 1931 appearance at the Brooklyn Museum.”—William Heinrich, New York Times.
Obviously inspired by the Japanese Floating World—along with many Impressionists and other artists of her era—Ms. Hansen has put to loom the imagery of Scandinavian solstice folklore celebrations. As Katrine Hvidt Bie wrote in Brooklyn Life and Activities of Long Island Society (Saturday, May 1, 1926):
‘Southward’ is of great beauty; as lovely as [her other works] ‘The Milky Way’ and ‘Salome’s Dance’ or ‘The Finding of Moses’.” It is a thing one will always remember, and love to dream about; the lithe and clean-limbed goddesses are speeding swiftly southward through the sea on the backs of young swans. They are carrying back the sun and flowers, which they loaned the North, to make the long summer.