Vesterheim Members for 26 Years and Counting!

By Molly Thompson, Vesterheim Annual Fund Gift Officer

Margit, 94, and Roald, 92, Tormondsen of Remer, Minnesota, became Vesterheim members in 1994 when Margit and her sister-in-law made the trip from northern Minnesota to Vesterheim to take rosemaling classes. Their instructor was Sunhild Muldbakken, a Gold Medalist in rosemaling and woodworking from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Margit recalls her sister-in-law, Mary, had a natural talent for rosemaling; in fact, Mary is still rosemaling all these years later. Margit, on the other hand, decided she did not have that talent! She was brand new to painting and had never even held a brush in her hand. She remembers that during class Mary told her, “Just practice with water!” but Margit still couldn’t get it quite right. She shared with a laugh, “The instructor had to paint over part of my work at the end of class just so it would look good enough to take home!”

Despite not finding her calling with rosemaling, Margit and her husband Roald have renewed their membership every year since and are now in their 26th year as Vesterheim members. When asked about their favorite part of being Vesterheim members, Margit shared,

“We enjoy the magazine so much. And we love to see what is going on at the museum!”

Margit and Roald are grateful, at their age, to still be living at home on the lake in a beautiful area of northern Minnesota. And even though it is too far of a trip for them to visit Vesterheim, they enjoy the connection they get through their membership. Roald has Norwegian heritage; his father was a fisherman on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Margit, also Scandinavian, has Swedish ancestry.

Mange takk, Margit and Roald, for your incredible, lasting support of Vesterheim! We are so grateful that even though the rosemaling did not stick, your relationship with Vesterheim did!

“We enjoy the magazine so much. And we love to see what is going on at the museum!”