Folk Art of Norway Tour:

Looking Back, Looking Forward

August 9-20, 2023 

Vesterheim invites practicing folk artists and folk-art enthusiasts to join us on the 2023 Folk Art Study Tour to Norway. We will explore and study traditional and contemporary Norwegian folk art of the past, the present, and even consider future folk-art exploration. Join us as we journey through southern Norway from Bergen to Oslo, experiencing the beauty of the Hordaland (Ullensvang, Voss) and Telemark regions, while studying both traditional and contemporary examples of knifemaking, woodworking, rosemaling, textiles, jewelry, and folk music. The tour will include museum visits, presentations by scholars, studio visits with traditional and contemporary artists, historic sightseeing, and some unique hands-on immersive experiences. At every point along the way, we will delight in the spectacular scenery, delicious food, and warm hospitality that is Norway.

Day 1 Wed., Aug. 9: Bergen (D) 

Afternoon arrival in Bergen, settle in and enjoy a group welcome dinner. Overnight at Hotel Norge by Scandic, Bergen. 

Day 2 Thurs., Aug. 10: Bergen (B, L) 

Morning trip to Oleana factory for behind-the-scenes guided tour of this forward thinking knitwear business that is family owned and internationally known. Enjoy shopping and lunch in their beautiful fjord side cafe. Return to Bergen and explore this charming city and dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Norge by Scandic, Bergen. 

Day 3 Fri., Aug. 11: Voss  (B/L/D) 

Morning departure to Voss for lunch and the afternoon at Sylvsmidja, which for 80 years has perfected the traditional craftsmanship of making bunad silver pieces. You will learn about jewelry making and knifemaking from experienced craftsman. Group dinner and overnight at Park Hotel Vossevagen, Voss.  

Day 4 Sat., Aug. 12: Voss (B/D)

Today will be spent in Voss with a visit and presentation at the Ole Bull Academy where you will tour the studio of fiddle maker Wiebke Lüders and learn about the art of fiddle making. Experience an unforgettable afternoon concert and coffee at Finnesloftet, a medieval hall built in 1295. Group dinner and overnight at Park Hotel Vossevagen, Voss. 

Day 5 Sun., Aug. 13: Voss (B/L) 

Your last day in Voss begins with a guided tour at Voss Folk Museum including their newest exhibit The View from Voss, exploring folk art from the past 500 years and contemporary influences in Voss. Following a gondola ride up to lunch at Voss Gondol, the afternoon will include visits to the studios of master folk artists living in the area. Dinner and evening on your own. Overnight at Park Hotel Vossevagen, Voss. 

Day 6 Mon., Aug. 14: Dalen (B/L/D) 

Travel by coach and ferry to the village of Utne for a guided tour at the Hardanger Folk Museum including a Hardanger fiddle concert. After lunch at the charming Utne Hotel, depart for Dalen with a stop at Agatunet, a farm cluster with outstanding examples of Western Norwegian building styles from the Middle Ages up to present time. Jewelry artist Siri Bergløff Berrefjord, creator of the contemporary jewelry style bunadsplast, will give an artist talk at Agatunet. Dinner and overnight at the beautiful historic Dalen Hotel. 

Day 7 Tues., Aug. 15: Dalen (B/L/D) 

Enjoy a morning visit to the West Telemark Museum for a guided tour. As part of the your museum visit, explore the Eidsborg Stave Church, one of the best preserved stave churches, estimated to date back to 1250 AD. Enjoy lunch at the West Telemark Museum with time in the afternoon to explore this charming town on your own. Dinner and overnight at Dalen Hotel. 

Day 8 Wed., Aug. 16 Skien (B/L/D) 

Departure in the morning for the Rauland Academy to be immersed in the transformational classes and programs they offer in traditional Norwegian folk art. of Norway. Lunch at Rauland Academy followed by a visit with local master craftsmen. Travel to Skien for overnight at Thon Hotel Høyers. 

Day 9 Thurs., Aug. 17 Oslo (B/L/D) 

Begin the day with an artist presentation by rosemaler Mona Stenseth Erlandsen in her home/studio, Villa Frednes. “In her paintings, she blends tradition and imagination and plays at the intersection of the ornamental and the surreal.” Lunch in Porsgrunn before departing for an afternoon and evening meal with Nevada Berg, author and creator of the award-winning Norwegian food and culture website North Wild Kitchen. Her recipes and stories are inspired by tradition and history, as well as innovative approaches to Norwegian ingredients. Overnight at the Grand Hotel, Oslo, located on Karl Johans Gate, with its wide sidewalks and outdoor cafes.  

Day 10 Fri., Aug. 18 Oslo (B/L) 

Your day begins with a guided tour of the Norsk Folk Museum, on open-air museum with 160 historic buildings, including the spectacular Gol Stave Church from 1200 AD. Lunch at the Fram Museum with afternoon and dinner on your own and time to enjoy this spectacular city. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo. 

Day 11 Sat., Aug. 19 Oslo (B/D) 

Begin the day with a visit to Vigeland Park, home to more than 200 sculptures in granite, bronze, and wrought iron by world-renowned 20th century artist Gustav Vigeland, followed by a visit to Oslo Opera House. We will be joined at the Opera House by a member of the internationally renowned architectural firm, Snøhetta, designers of the Opera House, as well as Vesterheim Commons and Heritage Park. Afternoon on your own to enjoy your last day in Norway. Closing dinner and overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.  

Day 12 Sun., Aug. 20 (B) 

Optional morning coach to the Gardermoen airport.


Per person, double occupancy $5,295
Single Supplement $1,275
Maximum of 25 participants

Price Includes:
• Accommodations for 11 nights
• Daily breakfast (B), 8 lunches (L), and 8 dinners (D)
• 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
• Vesterheim travel gift with luggage tags 

Please Note: The tour will involve standing, walking (including cobblestones and uneven terrain), and stairs. There may not be elevators at all sites. You will handle your own luggage at airports, and at hotels. 

Please read “Tour Terms and Conditions”

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

For more information contact:
Rolf Svanoe
563-382-9681 ext: 240

Tour Guide and Leader

Guide: Ingebjørg Monsen

Ingebjørg Monsen has guided every Vesterheim textile tour since 2003 ad we are excited that she has expanded her knowledge into Norwegian folk arts to guide this 2023 folk art tour. She was an electrical engineer by profession, but enjoys a second career of teaching weaving and sewing classes with a specialty in constructing men’s folk costumes. She has been president of the Bergen Handcraft Association and planned and led tours for that group.

Andrew Ellingsen

Tour Leader: Andrew Ellingsen

Andrew Ellingsen is the Director of Folk Art Education at Vesterheim. Prior to joining Vesterheim, Ellingsen taught elementary music and worked as an instructional coach in Iowa and Minnesota for nearly 20 years, teaching students ranging from early childhood all the way through graduate studies, most recently teaching elementary music in the Decorah Community School District. In addition to his work for Vesterheim, Ellingsen is a folk artist who makes Sámi-inspired jewelry.