Another sign of glorious spring is gracing the entry of Bekkum Memorial Library. The annual display of beautiful, creative rosemåling by the Coulee Region Rosemålers is once again located in our display case.
This traditional form of folk art originated in the rural valleys of Norway around 1750, with artists who specialized in rosemåling often coming from poorer country classes. Traveling from county to county they would paint churches, homes and furnishings for either money or merely room and board. Regional styles developed with Telemark, Hallingdal and Rogaland becoming the three predominant techniques. During the Nazi occupation of Norway, public display of the Norwegian flag or the State Coat of Arms was forbidden. Using the center of a rosemåling design Norwegians displayed an ‘H’ overlapping a ‘7’ to represent their exiled king, Haakon VII, risking imprisonment or death. The German occupation forces saw only a colorful peasant design. The revival of rosemåling in 20th century America is attributed to Per Lysne, a wagon painter who immigrated to Stoughton. The Coulee Region Rosemålers is one of the groups nationwide dedicated to preserving this authentic art.
Here at Bekkum M.L. we are dedicated to helping you learn all about this fabulous folk art, as well as other arts and crafts you can collect and create. “Painted Rooms: Scandinavian Interiors” by Sigmund Arseth and “Rosemaling Boxes: Fun and Easy Rosemaling Projects” are just two of the more than 15 books at Bekkum. Stop in today and discover the heritage, and be sure to join us during Syttende Mai Saturday, May 18, for the Bluff Country Tale Spinners as they spin their folk tales at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. You can also enjoy cookies and the Bekkum M.L. Photo Booth – complete with fun Norse gear!