Click on the links below to see some images that capture just a small glimpse of the extraordinary life and accomplishments of Ellene Christansen both personally and professionally.
Throughout her life Ellene demonstrated a remarkable equanimity that radiated to everyone around her.
Ellene was a 1951 graduate of Eastern High School in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ellene created a very unique signature for her work which she used on everything she signed. Including greeting cards she produced and sold to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Note the “b for Brit” at the top of the stem.
Ellene was a gifted artist and enjoyed the combination of talent and livelihood until the time she was no longer physically able to create with the intricacy and detail she wanted in her work.
Ellene graduated from the Maryland Institute of Art in 1955.
Ellene Christiansen embraced her Norwegian Heritage with pride and grace.
It was said that Ellene’s confirmed diagnoses of Muscular Dystrophy in 1952 “strengthened her remarkable unity in life”. The smile from this petite blonde was always warm and frequent.
Even at the age of five Ellene possessed an inner calmness and beauty that never left her.
These are just some examples of the many pieces of enameled jewelry from the Britt Originals collection made in the early 1960s created and designed by Ellene.
Bolton Hill, in Baltimore City, was a popular marketplace to purchase Brit Originals.
Baltimore City’s popular Flower Mart was another venue for Brit Originals to sell enameled jewelry. In fact, it was at this market place where Oprah Winfrey purchased her Brit Originals ear rings.
Ellene designed and printed her own business cards.
Ellene retired from Reliable Department Stores as a layout artist and began Brit Originals.
This “Brit Original” oil painting is titled Garden Glow and was used on the cover of her greeting cards.