I'm Kris Flaten, one of Arnold's grandkids and the webmaster for this site--although that's quite a misnomer since computer literacy isn't one of my fortes. Through this site we'd like to collect your stories, photos, memories, reflections about Arnold Flaten and post them to share. I knew Arnold very well in some ways but of course, he was already 57 by the time I was born. I'll share some of my stories but I'd also like to hear yours! Working together, we'll get lots of kaleidoscopic views! Check back often, as this will be a dynamic and changing process.
The other purpose for this website is to make copies of the watercolor prints available to you. Soon, you'll be able to order prints and pay online; for now, you can order through the Contact tab; I'll reply by email w pricing information and address for your check. And it won't be too long before there will be a link that will take you to a website where you'll be able to choose the size of the prints you order. So, there are lots of good, interesting things coming up!
When I was a kid, we entertained ourselves during one of our long roadtrips by putting together all of Grandfather's titles: The Reverend Doctor Sculptor Professor Pastor Mister Arnold Flaten. So, there's a page for the Reverend Pastor, a page for the Artist/Sculptor and a page for the Professor Doctor. This is the Welcome and Family page so here are a few biographical details.
Arnold was born on May 18, 1900 in Minneapolis, MN. His grandfather immigrated to Minnesota from Valdres, Norway and homesteaded in the Dennison area. His father, Nils, taught Norwegian and Romance languages at St. Olaf College after earning his PhD from the University of Minnesota (fun fact: Nils helped Ole Rolvaag with translating Giants in the Earth into English).
Arnold was the second of three sons born to Nils and Inez Flaten. It sounds like he was a bright, sensitive and active kid. He was on the St. Olaf football team and held the Minnesota State Championship in Tennis (posthumously he was inducted into St. Olaf's Athletic Hall of Fame). He also became known for his drawings and posters announcing college events while he was a student at St. Olaf. One summer during college he started reading the Bible diligently. Later, during the school year, his dad asked him what he was going to do after graduating. Arnold replied, "I'm going to the seminary." His dad nodded and said, "I thought so." And, the way Arnold told it, that was the first and last conversation they had concerning his career.