Exploring the Natural World through Printmaking: Olive Jensen Nordby

March 22-June 16 2024

In Vesterheim Commons Gallery

Olive Jensen Nordby (1915-2014) taught art at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and worked as a commercial artist, but she was best known for woodcuts, prints made with a carved wooden block. Inspired by the natural world and her Norwegian heritage, she was especially interested in using woodcuts to express the feeling of Norway – the rugged landscape, the wooden buildings, and the people. “Everyday subjects with interesting pattern or contrast also make good subjects,” Olive said. “I feel woodcuts should show their connection with the wood by using the grain whenever possible.” The exhibit in Vesterheim Commons Gallery will feature Olive’s views of Norway and everyday life and explain the process of making woodcuts. The exhibit includes some of Olive’s original wood blocks, recently donated to Vesterheim by her husband, Dr. Eugene J. Nordby, along with their son Jon and Jon’s wife Kim Nordby.

Read more about the Nordby’s legacy at Vesterheim.

Check out the Museum Store and order limited edition woodblock print of Olive Nordby’s Bethania Lutheran Church
or order a card set of two of her prints from the Vesterheim collection.

This exhibit is made possible by generous gifts to the Vesterheim Annual Fund from the Eugene J. and Olive M. Nordby Foundation and Rob and Evy Alsaker.

Borgund Stavkirke wood block, by Olive Nordby. 

Vesterheim 2023.010.007—Gift of Dr. Eugene J. Nordby in memory of Olive Nordby.