About Our School

Celebrating 50 years of Vesterheim’s Folk Art School!

Take a class at Vesterheim! Find lots of fun pictures of classes at Vesterheim on our Facebook page here.

For over 50 years, Vesterheim has nurtured folk artists and encouraged excellence in Norwegian-American folk art by providing classes with master instructors from Norway and America, by organizing study tours to Norway, and by offering an annual judged exhibition in which artists can present and sell their work.

The Norwegian folk-art tradition reaches back to the days of the Vikings and continues to be vibrant and active today. The class choices at Vesterheim reflect the varied opportunities in Norwegian folk art, including fiber arts, woodworking, rosemaling, food, jewelry, and knifemaking. The Folk Art School also offers occasional instruction in other traditions as a great way to deepen the folk-art experience.

The joy of creating something by hand is matchless, whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist. At Vesterheim’s Folk Art School, students and instructors create a community of learning by sharing through hands-on example.

The process of making functional and beautiful objects with our hands expands our minds, broadens our outlook, and connects us to one another. We invite everyone to learn new skills, hone old skills, share stories, have fun, and become a part of an exciting community.

A unique aspect of taking classes at Vesterheim is studying the museum’s collections, which include early folk art from all areas of Norway, representing many varied traditions and modern pieces that have been systematically collected for decades. Classes often arrange for the museum’s curatorial staff to give specialized tours of collections storage. People enrolled in a class are welcome to tour the museum at no cost during the time their class is in session.

Bauder-Landsgard Collections Study Center.
Bauder-Landsgard Collections Study Center

To register for classes, please print a class registration form (pdf) and send the form, along with your class payment to:
Darlene Fossum-Martin
Vesterheim Museum
P.O. Box 379
Decorah, IA 52101

For more information, contact Darlene Fossum-Martin at 563-382-9681, ext. 215, or email at