Videos and Photo Presentations

We hope you enjoy the video and photos presented here. The Chippewa Valley Museum collects, preserves, and displays important, regional, cultural artifacts from the Chippewa Valley. See you at the museum soon.

Nyckelharpa: A traditional Swedish instrument

Ian Holzman talks about his experience discovering and playing the Nyckelharpa (a traditional Swedish folk instrument). Earl Holzman tells us about how he builds these instruments.

The project was supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

A Piece of Hmong: Mai Xee Xiong Creates a Hmong New Year's Hat

The Chippewa Valley Museum worked with local Hmong textile artist Mai Xee Xiong and the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association to create a video documenting Xiong's immigration story and the process of making a traditional Hmong New Year's hat. The video is featured in CVM's new exhibit Changing Currents: Reinventing the Chippewa Valley.

The project was supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Barn Stories: Collected in 2001

Folklorists study the informal ways we learn, and our everyday expressions of what we find beautiful and important in life -- from making a quilt to celebrate a special occasion, to creating art from tools and objects we find around us, to planting corn in straight, perfect rows. In our stories, we also choose whats most important to us. And our stories happen in places important to us: our living rooms and kitchens, our churches and taverns, our workshops and barns. -- Ruth Olson, Associate Director, Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. One of four parts.

Explore photos from the John Till Virtual Exhibit below.

    John Till, 1908.
    He didn’t look like a Doctor. John Till was usually unshaven, barefoot, and wore earrings. But odds were good he could help you. Born in Austria, he immigrated to Wisconsin in 1898.

    John Till, 1908-1910.
    He worked first as a lumberjack near Almena, about 60 miles north of here. He began healing people with a special technique he’d learned from a Swiss doctor. By mixing Croton oil (now considered highly dangerous) and kerosene into a paste, he applied it to a person's back to draw out illness.

    Crowding their way in to be treated by John Till, Almena, 1908-1910. Word spread across the Chippewa Valley and people came in droves—some from as far away as Canada. Local residents benefited from Till's success, renting rooms and serving meals to his patients. He worked 16 hour days, but didn’t charge for his services.

    Crowd waiting outside Till Hotel to see John Till, 1908-1910.
    My mother had a tumor growing under her arm. It was operated on but it grew again. So she went to Dr. Till and his plaster drie[d] it out and she wasn't bothered anymore. --Flo Hinterberg Kurth, Postcard, 1908

    John Till, 1908.
    Although he was sentenced to jail for practicing medicine without a license, 6,500 people petitioned against it and Till never served time. In 1922, he left the Chippewa Valley and the U.S., returning again after World War II.