Ingvald Skorgen, a self-taught artist, created an vast art environment in the yard surrounding his home in rural Minnesota. Using concrete, he built a fantasy work in his spare time. He immigrated with his family from Norway when he was only three years old. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, talented violinist, and continued to live on the family farm until his passing. The family dismantled the sculpture environment after his death, and distributed his belongings amongst family and local organizations.
Kohler Foundation acquired two embellished concrete African American figures, one planter, and one birdbath sculptures. After being fully conserved, they were placed on permanent display at the Cornucopia Art Center (MN) (now the Lanesboro Art Center. They took the pieces off display because they we perceived as racist. In 2016, Kohler Foundation again took possession of the sculptures and they have been stored in our conservation workspace since that time. After another museum declined the African American figures due to their racist demeanor, Kohler Foundation approached the Jim Crowe Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University and they readily accepted the figurative pair. The planter and birdbath were gifted to John Michael Kohler Art Center. All pieces required extensive conservation to stabilize the work and prepare it for exhibition. Meghan Mackey and Mark Witten contributed to the restoration.