Collections & Research

What is in Vesterheim's Collections?

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Contemporary Folk Art

Handcrafted Norwegian and Norwegian-American folk art dating after 1900 to the present. Includes: rosemaling, woodcarving, weaving, needlework, knifemaking, and instruments.

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Furnishings

Objects chosen or custom-made to furnish public and private places. Includes: furniture, tableware, serving wares, textiles, altar paintings, and ceremonial artifacts.

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Historic Folk Art

Handcrafted Norwegian and Norwegian-American folk art dating before 1900. Includes: rosemaling, woodcarving, weaving, needlework, knifemaking, and instruments.

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Tools & Tech

Objects used for specific activities, including food preparation, agriculture, industries, transportation, and sports.

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Fine Art

Works of visual art by Norwegian immigrant and Norwegian-American artists. Includes: oil paintings, watercolor paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures.

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Historic
Structures

Historic Structures

Buildings that exemplify or contrast Norwegian and Norwegian-American construction methods and forms. Find more information about Vesterheim’s Heritage Park on our Exhibit page.

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Clothing &
Accessories

Clothing & Accessories

Garments for everyday, special occasions, and occupational dress. Includes: folk costumes, fashionable dress, children’s clothing, Norwegian sweaters and other knit wear, and jewelry.

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Library Collections
and Archives

The library collections support the study of Norwegian-American history and culture. The archives documents the lives of Norwegian Americans, with a particular strength in historic photographs.

Vesterheim's Collecting Policy

For its collection, Vesterheim Museum considers gifts of objects, library materials, and archives materials related to Norwegian and Norwegian-American culture or history, including:

  • Objects brought by Norwegian immigrants.
  • Objects made or used by Norwegian immigrants in the United States.
  • Other objects made or used in the United States which represent the Norwegian-American experience.
  • Books and periodicals that were brought by or read by Norwegian immigrants.
  • Books and periodicals that were printed in Norwegian and published in the U.S.
  • Books and periodicals that relate directly to subjects represented by Vesterheim’s object collection, i.e. folk art, Norwegian-American history.
  • Photographs related to Norwegian-American history and experience.
  • Archival material related directly to the history and operation of Vesterheim.
  • Archival material related directly to artifacts in Vesterheim’s collection.

For more information, contact Vesterheim Registrar Jennifer Kovarik at jkovarik@vesterheim.org.

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