A Timeline of Leif Erikson Statues
- 1838. The Norse Sagas about Leif’s discovery of America
were translated into English, and American immigrants discovered
Leif Erikson’s contribution to history. The sagas reached popularity
with the general public in the latter part of the 19th century.
- 1867. Norway. First discovery of a Viking ship at Tune.
The subsequent discovery of the Gokstad in 1880 and the
Oseberg in 1903 lent weight to the rediscovery of Leif Erikson’s
Boston, Massachusetts. Statue sculpted by Anne Whitney, erected
by the efforts of Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, among others. Located
on Commonwealth Ave at Charlesgate East, it became a symbolic bond
between America and Scandinavia.
- 1893. Chicago, Illinois. The Viking, a replica
of the Gokstad, sailed from Norway to the World’s Fair in
Chicago. The famous painting Leif Eiriksson Discovers America
by Christian Krohg was created for the occasion.
- 1901. Chicago, Illinois. Statue in Humboldt Park, sculpted
by Sigvald Asbjornsen and inspired by the Columbian Exposition and
World’s Fair of 1893.
- 1931. Reykjavik, Iceland. Statue sculpted by A. Sterling
Calder and presented by the United States Government to commemorate
the 1,000th anniversary of Iceland’s Althing, the world’s oldest
Newport News, Virginia. 12-foot replica of the Reykjavik statue
presented to the United States by the Icelandic National League
in the United States and displayed at the World’s Fair in New York
in 1939. (Although Senator Warren G. Magnuson later proposed that
this statue be moved to Washington, D.C., to overlook the Potomac
River, the Icelandic League and the citizens of Newport News were
satisfied with its position at the Maritime Museum, where it was
viewed yearly by thousands.)
St. Paul, Minnesota. 13-foot Leiv Eiriksson statue erected on
the grounds of the state capitol, sculpted by John K. Daniels.
Duluth, Minnesota. Replica of Boston’s statue.
Seattle, Washington. 16-foot
statue by August Werner erected at Shilshole Marina.
Trondheim, Norway. 10-foot
replica of Seattle’s statue by August Werner was given to the city
to celebrate its 1,000-year anniversary. Funds were collected by
Seattle’s Leif Erikson Society from donations in honor of immigrants,
whose names were inscribed at the base of the statue.
Minot, North Dakota.
Bronze statue by Arlen Evenson of Boundary Lake, N.D., unveiled in Minot's
Scandinavian Heritage Park on October 12, 1993. Sponsored by the
Icelandic Heritage Society.
- 2000. Eiríksstaðir, Iceland. Small bronze statue of Leif
standing on the bow of a ship by Icelandic sculptor Nína Sæmundsson.
This statue received second place in a competition in the United
States in 1930, losing to Sterling Calder’s statue, which was then
given to Iceland. Erected in 2000 on Erik the Red’s homestead in
Iceland and Leif’s birthplace, on the millennial anniversary of
Leif’s voyage to North America.
Greenland. Second 10-foot replica of Seattle’s statue by August
Werner unveiled at Leif’s home and farm to commemorate the 1,000-year
anniversary of his voyage. Funding was provided by Seattle’s Leif
Erikson International Foundation and the governments of Denmark,
Norway, and Greenland.
- 2001. Cleveland, Ohio. Bust of Leif Erikson, from Seattle’s
statue by August Werner. Funds raised by Emilie Knud-Hansen, organizer
of the Leif Ericson Millennium Committee of America's North Coast.
- 2003. Seattle, Washington. Second bust of Leif Erikson
from Seattle’s statue by August Werner. Given to the Leif Erikson
Lodge of the Sons of Norway in Ballard in honor of its 100-year
anniversary by donors Kristian Berg and Lillian Hagen.
- 2007. Seattle, Washington. The August Werner statue
of Leif Erikson at Shilshole Marina in Ballard was moved from
its 1962 base to a new base, surrounded by rune stones bearing
the names of Scandinavian immigrants. Jay Haavik, local Norwegian-American
artist, designed the base and rune stones.
- 2007. Newport News, Virginia. The replica of the Calder
statue in Reykjavik, Iceland, was moved from its indoor display
at the Mariner's Museum to outdoors, on the Museum grounds.
- 2010. Seattle, Washington. More immigrant names are added
to the rune stones surrounding Seattle's statue, bringing the total
- 2013. L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. Third and final replica of the Seattle statue erected near
Vinland, site of Leif Erikson's homestead.