Rosemaling in the Upper Midwest Collection, 1987-1995

Collection Summary

Title: Rosemaling in the Upper Midwest Collection
Dates: 1987-1995

  • Wisconsin Folk Museum
Unique Identifier: CSUMC0004-CG

Contents: Wisconsin Historical Society Museum Division: 622 graphic images, 63 artifacts; Wisconsin Historical Society Archives: 48 folders; Mills Music Library Wisconsin Music Archives: 1 audiocassette; Janet C. Gilmore: ca. 1 c.f. exhibit photographs, text, artifact lists, and photographic documentation of exhibit installation

Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures
432 East Campus Mall, Room 332
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Web site:

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)
UW-Madison Libraries, Mills Music (Map)

The Rosemaling in the Upper Midwest collection documents the Norwegian-American folk painting tradition of rosemaling in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and the greater Upper Midwest region. Phil Martin and Jean Johnson of the Wisconsin Folk Museum interviewed rosemalers, while Martin and Lewis Koch photographed them and their work. Martin and Johnson borrowed, commissioned, and purchased artifacts, and produced several versions of a rosemaling exhibit, representing the work of more than 50 rosemalers. The first exhibit was installed in 1988 at the Folk Museum, and the last one ran into 1995. The book and exhibit catalog, Rosemaling in the Upper Midwest: A Story of Region and Revival, also resulted from this research.

Language: Manuscripts and sound recordings are in English.

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