2018 Folk Art Study Tour:

Osmaling, Dålmalning, and Wood Shavings Colorful Folk Art of Norway and Sweden

June 7-22, 2018

From the mystical seaside of Os, Norway, to the charming countryside of Dalarna, Sweden, you will be inspired by amazing scenery and fantastic folk art. Along with your hands-on studio instruction, you will gain knowledge of these traditional folk arts through special visits to artists’ studios, private collections, museums, and historical hotels.

We’ll begin in colorful Bergen exploring the city before traveling to Os where rosemalers will have three days of hands-on classes in the Os style of rosemaling. Os has an unbroken tradition since 1850 of painting a colorful, highly distinctive, and beautiful style. Woodcarvers will learn the technique of karveskurd (chip carving), a centuries old form of ornamentation that is built around geometric shapes and is very symbolic.

During our short stop in Oslo, you will enjoy a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Norsk Folk Museum before we travel over the Swedish mountains to Dalarna, the cultural heart and soul of Sweden.

In Dalarna painters will focus on Dalmålning and its beautiful use of color, kurbits, and figures as you study for three days with well-known Swedish painter Åse Larsjos. Few symbols of Sweden are more famous than the painted wooden Dala horses and woodcarvers will have the opportunity to carve their own while learning the meaning of the traditionally painted designs. We will travel through the quaint Dalarna countryside taking in many cultural experiences, including a stop at the home of the world-famous artist couple Carl and Karin Larsson and the ever popular Dala Horse factory. There is no better place to spend our last two days than Stockholm, one of the largest medieval cities in Europe.

The hands-on rosemaling classes focus on technique and color and are not project oriented. The woodcarving classes are open to all levels but some carving experience is helpful. Not a painter of carver? There will be plenty to do from walking nature trails to rowing on the sea. Be sure to bring your camera and sketchbook, you won’t want to miss a thing.

  1. Day 1 Thurs., June 7: Minneapolis-Bergen

    Depart Minneapolis on your transatlantic flight to Bergen, Norway, via Reykjavik.

  2. Day 2 Fri., June 8: Bergen

    Arrive at Flesland Airport in Bergen. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy the afternoon and evening exploring this beautiful city on your own. Overnight at Clarion Hotel Admiral.

  3. Day 3 Sat., June 9: Bergen-Os (B, L, & D)

    Begin studies of folk art with a visit to the Universitetsmuseet—The Historical Museum—and take a behind-the-scenes tour to study pieces of rosemaling and chip carving. Depart for Os and a special lunch at the exquisite Solstrand Hotel, a hideaway with beautiful surroundings and magnificent views of the fjord and mountains, before checking into the charming Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun, home for the next four days.

  4. Day 4 Sun., June 10: Os (B, L, & D)

    Let the classes begin! Rosemalers will board the coach to Lyngheim Museum for class in the Os style with well-known rosemalers Hjordis Juvik and Torunn Rød Farsund. Farsund is the fifth generation of her family to paint in the Os style. Woodworkers will go to Oselvarnaustet for chip carving class with past Vesterheim instructor Alf Strønen. Lunches will be delivered to your class location. Enjoy a walk along the fjord to soak up the beauty of your surroundings. Class ends at 4 p.m. when the coach will return you to Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun for dinner and a relaxing evening on your own.

  5. Day 5 Mon., June 11: Os-Lysøen Island (B, L, & D)

    Adventure by ferry to Lysøen Island and see the summer villa of famed violinist, composer, and nationalist, Ole Bull. Explore the island walking trails, tour his historic home with its distinctive wooden interior, and enjoy lunch in the café. Returning back to the mainland, we will meet Nils Georg Brekke, researcher, editor, author, lecturer in art history, and winner of the Meltzer Prize in 2009. He will accompany us on a tour of the Oselvar boat building company and the Lyse Abbey founded in 1146, the first Cistercian monastery in Norway. Dinner and overnight at Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun.

  6. Day 6 Tues., June 12: Os (B, L , & D)

    Enjoy the second and last day of classes in Norway. Dinner and overnight at Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun.

  7. Day 7 Wed., June 13: Train from Bergen to Oslo (B)

    From Bergen to Oslo, relax on one of the world’s most scenic train rides in the world. Arriving early afternoon in Oslo, we’ll check into the Hotel Bondeheimen, which is located only a few short blocks from Karl Johans Gate and the Royal Palace. A bonus is a wonderful Husfliden connected to the hotel. Enjoy exploring this friendly, walkable capital city with dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Bondeheimen.

  8. Day 8 Thurs., June 14: Oslo (B)

    The morning begins at the Norsk Folk Museum, viewing behind-the-scenes examples of rosemaling and carving. After the tour, explore the museum grounds on your own, or visit other museums on Bygdøy. More delightful Oslo experiences will be announced. Overnight at Hotel Bondeheimen.

  9. Day 9 Fri., June 15: Torsby-Ostra Amtervik-Säter (B, L, & D)

    Journey from the mystic Norwegian seaside to Sweden’s charming countryside of forests and lakes. Torsby, meaning Thor’s village, will be the first stop, where we will have lunch at the historic Sahlströmsgården and be introduced to several styles of Swedish folk art furniture in a presentation by our guide Diane Edwards. We will continue through the countryside to Dalarna, and then Säter, which will be our home for three days. This quaint town was founded in 1630. Much of its old town has preserved wooden houses and street structure from that time, which is rare in Sweden today. We will continue through Dalarna to our hotel, Säters Stadshotell, for dinner and overnight.

  10. Day 10 Sat., June 16: Säter-Borlänge-Leksand-Nusnäs (B, L, & D)

    This is a day of travel as we are immersed in the art of Swedish Dalarna painting and Dala horses. Start out in Borlänge visiting the studio of artist Slotts Barbro, who so masterfully paints the old seventeenth-century technique Kurbitsmåleriet. On to Leksand to visit Leksands Kulturhuset with its third largest collection of Dala painting. Tour the Grannas Dala Horse Factory in Nusnäs and learn the history of the Dala horse throughout time. Dinner and overnight at Säters Stadshotell.

  11. Day 11 & 12 Sun.-Mon., June 17-18: Säter (B, L, & D both days)

    After making our own box lunch from the breakfast bar at the hotel, rosemalers depart by coach to Lundgrens Kulturhuset, your painting studio for the next two days. It’s a beautiful old wooden house with its original soft and warm colors. It breathes silence and calm and lends itself to creative thinking. Lundgrens is located near the town of Gustafs. Painters will have two days of hands-on painting in the Dalarna style with Swedish artists Åse Larsjos and Kia Lahr. Wood carvers will have a very special and unique opportunity to learn the skill of carving Dala horses while hearing about the history and symbolism of the country’s historical Dala horse. Carving location and instructor will be announced. Enjoy a sit down dinner of farm foods at your hotel as only the Swedes can prepare. Overnight at Säters Stadshotell.

  12. Day 13 Tues., June 19: Säter -Falun-Sundborn-Bingsjö (B & L)

    Depart for a morning at the Dalarnas Museum in Falun, where we will see several examples of painting, woodcarving, and an extraordinary collection of Dala horses. Visit Sweden’s icon of home design in Sundborn—the beautiful home of Swedish painter and representative of the Swedish arts and crafts movement, Carl Larsson and his wife Karin. A World Heritage Buffet will be served at Hyttstugan before departing for Danielsgaarden Farm in Bingsjö, for a private tour of the home decorated by the leading Dala painter Winter Carl Hansson. We’ll also see Dala paintings in Bingsjö Church. Dinner on your own and overnight at Collection Hotel Bergmastaren in Falun.

  13. Day 14 Wed., June 20: Falun-Avesta-Uppsala-Stockholm (B)

    On the way to Stockholm, we will make a stop at Avesta, home to the largest Dala horse in the world. In Uppsala we will visit Linnaeus Gardens, Sweden’s oldest botanical garden, and Uppsala Cathedral, the largest and tallest cathedral in Scandinavia. Arrive in Stockholm and begin exploring its history and folk arts. Dinner and evening on your own. Overnight at Clarion Hotel Sign.

  14. Day 15 Thurs., June 21: Stockholm (B, L, & D)

    Take the ferry to Skansen Museum, famous for its outdoor buildings with exhibits of Swedish folk art and carving, plus a wonderful Swedish buffet lunch at Soliden-Skansen on the grounds of the museum. Spend the rest of the day exploring, shopping, and relaxing in this historic capital city. Enjoy your Farewell Dinner together. Overnight at Clarion Hotel Sign.

  15. Day 16 Fri., June 22: Stockholm-USA (B)

    After breakfast transfer to airport for your flight home.

The tour operator reserves the right to make changes necessary in order to give travelers the best experience possible.

Single supplement
Land only
Minimum of 25 participants
Maximum of 35 participants

Price Includes (as listed in the above itinerary):

  • Roundtrip airfare, taxes, and fuel surcharge on Icelandair from Minneapolis
  • 14 nights hotel accommodations
  • Daily breakfast (B), 12 lunches (L) , 14 dinners (D), and 1 coffee/dessert (C)
  • Hire of first-class tour coach, including English-speaking driver
  • All domestic ferry crossings and tunnels for coach and passengers
  • Admission fees to all attractions
  • Gratuity for bus driver and guides
  • Comprehensive information kit with brochures and maps
  • Vesterheim travel gift with luggage tags

Reserve Your Spot on Tour

Download the form below, print and send it, with a $500 deposit per person, to:

Vesterheim, P.O. Box 379
Decorah, IA 52101

For more information about upcoming tours:

Katherine Johnson
563-382-9681, ext. 240

Tour Guide and Leader

LEADER: Darlene Fossum-Martin

Darlene Fossum-Martin, Vesterheim’s Education Specialist, led Vesterheim Folk Art Tours to Norway in 2001, 2003, 2014, and 2016. Darlene loves Vesterheim’s folk-art program—the arts, artists, instructors, and students. She enjoys everyone’s enthusiasm for learning the art and its historical context. She attributes her strong Norwegian ties and traditions to the women in her family, her community, and years spent living, working, and traveling in Norway. She looks forward to sharing her love of the Norwegian and Swedish countrysides and its cultural richness while on this tour.

GUIDE: Diane E. Peterson Edwards

Diane E. Peterson Edwards, decided at age seven that she wanted to be an artist and a teacher. Her mother encouraged her interest in Norwegian rosemaling and Swedish Dalmalning. She has studied with many well-known painters, including Sigmund Aarseth. In 1970 she made her first (of many) trips to Norway. She has written six books on Norwegian rosemaling and two on Swedish Folk Art. Her greatest love in art, besides painting, is researching the Scandinavian heritage of folk art.