Brita’s archive: The Garden in Alhambra, Los Angeles

Brita Eldh (1907-2000) was the daughter of Carl and Elise Eldh. In 1963, she established a foundation in her parents’ name and then ran the museum on her own until the early 1990s. Currently we are working to archive Brita’s left behind material with the support of the Swedish National Heritage Board and Region Stockholm. Here we share glimpses from the archive.

In the mid-1920s, Brita and Elise Eldh moved to California, where they bought a house in Alhambra, Los Angeles. In its large garden, sculptures by Carl Eldh was placed, and it also forms the stage for many of the images depicting Brita as a professional dancer. They bring their interest in gardening with them to the studio in Bellevue when they travel back to Sweden. In the folder “A few words about Carl Eldh’s studio museum” which is distributed when the museum opens to the public in 1963, Brita writes:

“The idyllic studio garden was laid out in 1919 by Elise Eldh, who had a peculiar ability to plant beautiful gardens wherever she went in the world. She had a particularly fine eye for lines and for the design of different environments. There are no exaggerations here, only a soft and unsought floral accompaniment to the studio building. Much of what Mother Elise planted is still there, such as the yellow daylilies along the fence, the saxifrage on the stone slab, daffodils, narcisses and lilies of the valley, rhododendrons and jasmine.”