- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BISHOP HILL, Ill. (AP) - The Bishop Hill State Historic Site has acquired the earliest known portrait by folk artist Olof Krans, who’s known for his depictions of the Illinois religious colony founded by Swedish dissidents.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency announced Tuesday the donation of the 1879 painting. It is a gift of Barbara Glick, who purchased it in 1993 with her husband, the late folk art expert Merle Glick.

The portrait’s subject is Jonas Olson, a key figure in the history of the Bishop Hill religious colony. Olson disliked the painting so much that he refused to keep it in his home. He gave it to relatives who preserved it for more than a century.

The portrait now hangs in the Bishop Hill Museum. Bishop Hill is about 60 miles northwest of Peoria.


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