Eleanor’s Quilt

November 25, 2020

Raymond Lindeman made field-shaping discoveries at Cedar Creek. An art project celebrates the role his wife, Eleanor, played.


Eleanor's Quilt

The quilt is made from 1940s-era reproduction fabric, representing the time period Eleanor Hall Lindeman spent working at Cedar Creek. Blocks from fabric scraps depict the post- depression-era lifestyle she lived. The quilting is a scrolling vegetation with a butterfly pattern to honor Eleanor’s contributions to the field of biology.

Raymond Lindeman’s findings, based in part on fieldwork at Cedar Creek, shaped modern ecosystem ecology in profound ways. Lindeman conducted some of his seminal work at Cedar Bog Lake in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and died at 27 leaving behind a scientific legacy that continues to resonate.

But he didn’t do it alone. Since he suffered from a liver disorder and impaired vision, he relied on his wife, Eleanor Lindeman, for help collecting and documenting samples, examining specimens under the microscope and more. She was a key collaborator who helped her husband in the field and in the lab.

Cheri Stockinger, 2019 artist-in-residence at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, and postdoctoral researcher Katrina Freund Saxhaug were intrigued about the role Eleanor played. The pair learned that after Raymond’s death, she attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota and eventually remarried. She died in 2005. Her family was largely unaware of her time at Cedar Creek, and Eleanor likely never returned to Cedar Bog Lake.

Stockinger, who created a series of Cedar Creek-inspired quilts, hopes that the “Eleanor” quilt brings renewed attention to her contributions to the field of ecology

-Claire Wilson