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Nisse Rosemalers Reception

When Mar 20, 2010
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Decorah Public Library
Contact Name
Contact Phone 563-382-3717
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Rosemaled trunkRosemaled plate 1


Rosemaled plate 2


 The Nisse Rosemalers are exhibiting a collection of rosemaled pieces at Decorah Public Library in February and March. A reception for the group will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday March 20 on the 2nd floor of the library. The public is invited to come and meet the artists, see the show, and enjoy refreshments provided by the Decorah Regional Arts Council (DRAC).


Current Nisse Rosemalers include Mary Althouse, Wilma Anderson, Carol Goettler, Beverly Gruhn, Barbara Hagelie, Corrine Landsgard, Margie Landsgard, Beverly Schrandt, Jean Schutte, Madonna Stumme, Norma Wangsness, Diane Weston, and Karen Morse Winter.


Formally organized in 1977, the Nisse Rosemalers were initially comprised of a small group of area women who began painting by taking an adult education class at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah. During that time, rosemaling was becoming popular again after having fallen out of fashion in the 1860s. Goals of the group included learning about and promoting rosemaling, performing community service, and friendship. These goals have been carried forward into the present and four of the original eight women are still active members.


Originating in Norway in the 1700s, the term rosemaling is derived from the name of a flower. In Norwegian, the verb rose means “to decorate” and rose painting means decorative painting. The art form began as a way to decorate churches, homes, furniture, trunks, and utensils. Each region had its own distinctive style such as Telemark, Hallingdal, Valdres, Rogaland, Os, Gudbrandsdal, and Vest Agder. The Nisse Rosemalers have also branched out into other Norwegian arts including basket making, hardanger, klostersom, kolrosing wood and chip carving, and wheat weaving.


The Decorah Public Library Mezzanine Gallery has been a joint project of the Decorah Public Library and the Decorah Area Regional Arts Council (DRAC) since 1998. The Gallery is open to the public Monday-Thursday 10 am-8 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday 1-4 pm.


Anyone interested in exhibiting artwork in the Gallery should contact Ellen Macdonald at or Kristin Torresdal at 382-3717.  


Norse crafts