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Norwegian Folk Art: The Migration of a Tradition Hardcover – February, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 1st edition (February 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789201941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789201942
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 1.1 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,075,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This exhibition catalog offers ten comprehensive and scholarly essays that review the artistic traditions of Norwegians and Norwegian Americans through illustrations of decorative and functional objects spanning four centuries. The essays cover cultural history, the social and economic background of folk art in Norway, folk dress, emigration and settlement patterns, and tradition and revival. Among the beautifully photographed objects are fanciful woodcarvings of ceremonial serving vessels, elaborately decorated trunks with rosemailing (a general term for Norwegian folk painting), and coverlets woven in geometric patterns. The text identifying these objects offers typical informational notes but also poignant comments on style and artistry. Editor Nelson (director emeritus, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum; professor emeritus, art history, Univ. of Minnesota) has produced a work documenting Norwegian tradition and material culture from a rural economy centuries ago to 20th-century Norwegian American craft. For large public and academic libraries.
Judith Yankeilun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Fanciful wood carvings, tableware and furniture adorned with rosemaling, snowflake-patterned knitted garments, and costumes with white Hardanger embroider -- the unique, highly organic designs that characterize Norwegian crafts have captured the admiration of collectors around the world. Originally developed to decorate the essential tools of the landed farmers, Norwegian folk motifs and techniques evolved into a distinctive style that passed from generation to generation. As Norwegians immigrated to America, they brought their treasured ceremonial serving vessels, coverlets, and trunks with them. Their decorative traditions and material culture (especially rich in the American midwest) have since been transformed into exciting ways to serve new functions and allow for individual expression. Norwegian Folk Art: The Migration Of A Tradition is a fascinating study of the migration of the folk art tradition of Norway to America with almost 250 color photographs displaying objects that span four centuries, and include some of the finest holdings of Norwegian museums, valuable family heirlooms brought to America, and 20th century works created by Norwegian-Americans. A beautiful, richly illustrated, comprehensive portrait of Norwegian folk art as practiced in America and a highly recommended acquisition for personal and community library art shelves. -- Midwest Book Review

[T]his wonderful book goes deep into the roots of the Norwegian people. . . . It's a glorious tribute to a sometimes primitive style, but a pure folk art that deserves more recognition. -- Asbury Park Press, 11/20/97

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