Carmichael, in an undated file photo

June 16, 2016

By Connor Cummiskey, Staff Writer

NEW ULM - The Grand is celebrating the life and work of Christine Carmichael, the interior designer known for her work on the Governor's Residence, the Dayton House and The Grand itself.

The exhibition titled "Christine Carmichael: A Life by Design" will have its opening 7-9 p.m. Friday, June 17, in the Four Pillars Gallery in The Grand. It will be on display until July 8.

A portrait plaque of Carmichael will be unveiled during the opening ceremony. The portrait was painted by Christine's sister Charis Carmichael-Braun, and the plaque was crafted by Charis' husband Andrew.

The Grand also will be raising money for a sign on the rear of the building that will complete Carmichael's vision. "It was always intended that we would have that signage on the back of the building, and there is a space for it, and there are the lights and everything, but we never got the sign done," said Megan Rolloff, a board member of The Grand.

The Historic Dayton House in Worthington will be one of Carmichael's projects featured in the exhibition. Rolloff considers it one of Carmichael's crowning achievements. She recalls Carmichael's dedication to the project was so profound she once went to Nebraska for an antique horse-hair couch before scouring the country for the fabric to put on it.

"That was a crazy project. It was so detailed, and there was so much going on, and she had so many rooms to do. I would say that definitely combined her love of design and history, and taking something that had really gotten run down - it had additions put on it, it was used for commercial purposes - and she totally brought it back. It definitely is an amazing place to see," said Rolloff.

Carmichael often worked on design projects, both public and private, that included aspects of restoration. "Whenever there was a historical project to be worked on, Christine usually was the one that you called," said Rolloff. "She listened to every need that the client had or that the project needed and she threw herself into it 110 percent, every single time. She was extremely detailed, there was no decision made that did not have a purpose," said Rolloff.

This first appeared on the New Ulm Journal's website and print edition:
Cummiskey, Connor. "Carmichael Celebrated." The Journal. 16 June 2016: Web. 16 June 2016.