Norwegian Rosemaling, a Norwegian folk art dating to the 18th and 19th Centuries, is characterized by its flowing 'S' and 'C' acanthus scrolls and flower ornamentations as its central motif. Pictures, geometric patterns, and script lettering may also be included in a design. Traditional colors are earth red, blue, green, yellow and white. First appearing in Norway's stave churches, the rustic art often done by itinerant painters, was later used to decorate ceilings, walls, furniture, trunks, and wooden household items such as ambars, tines, tankards, ale bowls, plates and bowls used in the Norwegian rural homes.
The various styles of rosemaling were named for the valley from which they originated. Influences from other European countries and China can be seen in the art.
Rosemaling was introduced to America in the 1930's by Per Lysne, a wagon painter from Stoughton, WI. The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, has been most instrumental in fostering the growth of the art in America by sponsoring numerous classes each year taught by Norwegian and American Gold Medalist instructors. Additionally, they sponsor bi-annual study trips to Norway.
The styles most popular in America today are Telemark, Rogaland, Hallingdal, Gudbrandsdalen, Valdres, Vest Agder, and Os, with interest in lesser known styles growing.
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