BODIL PETTERSSEN MELENEY, the daughter of Rønnaug Petterssen was born in Oslo, Norway in 1941. A great deal of her childhood was spent in the workshop among the dolls as they were being made. Fairy Tales, folklore and art were also part of her growing up. When she became old enough she did small jobs at the workshop, ran errands and later, as an adult, she headed up the workshop for a few months while her mother travelled. Bodil feels lucky to have known so many of the people involved in her mother’s life and career.
Bodil, always an artist, got her degree as an RN from Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo. In 1965 she married an American, moved to the States and has two children Eric T Meleney, an acupuncturist and herbalist and her daughter Karen M Green who is also a sculptor.
In 1959/60 Bodil had taken classes at the Art Institute of Chicago during a year abroad. Then from 1974 till 1977 she studied art at The Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC. Her initial studies were in printmaking, but in 1980 she shifted her focus to sculpture. Bodil has exhibited widely in the US, Norway and also in Africa. Later after her divorce she work for many years on sculpture commissions. (See photos below) Most notably a public commission of 22 benches for the Trolley 8 in Bethesda MD, through Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP). The benches were installed between the fall of 2003 and summer 2004. In the early 1990 Bodil also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and worked for the next 20 years as a practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine alongside studio work. In 2010, due to spinal surgery, Bodil could no longer pursue sculpture and turned to writing as a creative focus. She has written about health and wellness focusing on nutrition. She has also written several articles about her mother that appeared in Antique Doll Collector Magazine (2011) and the Sortland Historic Society yearbook (2011 – 2013). Bodil is excited to be able to present this book to the world and is busily at work on a new manuscript.