It Will Soon Be Here, c. 1897–1910<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Krans-It-Will-Soon-Be-Here.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />It Will Soon Be Here, c. 1897–1910<div class="ExternalClassFB5B0E20CDA2445886D1059E03C2F64F"><p>​​In this detailed harvesting scene, men and women load hay onto wagons as a storm threatens from the left. Artist Olof Krans titled his painting to emphasize the urgency of their work. A boy lounging by the waiting oxen may be a subtle self-portrait: as a youth, Krans had joined other boys in the utopian colony of Bishop Hill, Illinois, in caring for the oxen that were essential to the community's farming operations.</p><p>Bishop Hill was founded in 1846 by spiritual leader Erik Jansson and his adherents, who emigrated from their native Sweden in search of religious liberty. Krans's family followed them four years later. In addition to farm work, young Olof apprenticed with a decorative painter of signs, houses, and wagons. Eventually settling in nearby Galva, Illinois, he became a successful decorative painter, advertising his ability to undertake "house, sign, carriage and ornamental painting, graining, glazing, gilding, and paper hanging." Krans recorded the colony's history in portraits and in images such as this of farming activities remembered from his youth. <em>It Will Soon Be Here </em>celebrates agrarian bounty and the cooperative working life of the colony, while acknowledging the challenges of wresting a living from the land.</p><p>Olof Krans has become one of Illinois' most celebrated so-called self-taught, or folk, artists. His paintings of the Bishop Hill colony's early decades uniquely document this utopian community, one of many founded throughout the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.</p></div>GP0|#1c723da6-479c-40e8-b79c-9370524fd768;L0|#01c723da6-479c-40e8-b79c-9370524fd768|Olof Krans;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryPainting;#Painting Oil;#Painting Oil on Canvas;#Altona, IllinoisOil on canvas, 22 × 35¾ inches Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association, Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Illinois Department of Natural Resources