In a previous post (here), I unveiled new photographs of Bernt Olsen Bonn (1856-1937) and Bertha Pettersdatter Aaberge (1865-1936) which were obtained last year from our Norwegian cousins in the Sogndal area.

Bernt O. Bonn, likely taken in 1892 (Source: Odd Dagfinn Lereim, Sogndal, Norway)

Bertha Aaberge Bonn, likely taken in 1892, cropped (Source: Author’s collection)

This summer, we brought back from Minnesota the bulk of my Mother’s papers, poems, and photographs.  The stuff filled our SUV and I am now engaged in the arduous process of going through it.

In so doing, I came across two large, original drawings of Bernt and Bertha Bonn.  Bernt’s is 14 x 17 inches and Bertha’s is 16 x 20 inches.  I believe the medium is charcoal.  Their condition is shockingly good, although Bertha’s has a large vertical tear in it.  The images are on some sort of thick paperboard.


Bernt Olsen Bonn drawing:

Charcoal drawing of Bernt Olsen Bonn, from photograph taken about 1892 (Source: Author’s collection)


Bertha Aaberge Bonn drawing:

16 x 20 Charcoal drawing of Bertha Aaberge Bonn, from photograph taken about 1892, cropped (Source: Author’s collection)


The drawings are clearly based on photographs.  In Bertha’s case, her drawing is based on the exact same photograph I found in Norway last year, displayed above.  Note the star-shaped collar pin in both the photo and the drawing.

In Bernt’s case, I haven’t seen the photograph on which this drawing is based but his hairstyle and moustache are very similar to photographs taken about 1892.  Bernt and Bertha were married on 6 February 1892 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Montevideo.  I’m assuming the drawings were created then as well, but I guess they could have been created any time afterward, even sometime in the 20th century by a descendant.  That might explain the excellent condition.

The images presented here are actually smaller than the originals because both drawings are too big for my flat-bed scanner.

In any case, what a wonderful family treasure!  I’m still debating what to do with them.  We have limited wall space but they are begging to be framed and hung.