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Is Rosemaling Swedish?

In simple terms, no. Rosemaling is a distinctly Norwegian form of decorative painting. Evolving in rural Norway, rosemaling flourished in the late 1600's through the mid-1800's. 

Norwegian rosemaling was brought to the United States by Norwegian immigrants. In the early 1900's, the traditional folk art began being painted in the Midwest where many Norwegians settled. Per Lysne of Stoughton, Wisconsin is credited for beginning the rosemaling revival in the U.S.


By the 1960s and into the1990's, Norwegian rosemaling became very popularized in the United States; and because of this, the term is more familiar and mistakenly applied to Swedish folk painting. Sweden's folk painting goes by various, lesser-known names, such as kurbitsmålning (or kurbits), dalmålning, and bonadsmålning. While the folk arts may appear to be similar, there are distinct differences in style, colors, subject matter, what it is painted on, and designs can be very different from that of Norwegian rosemaling. 

Go here for more on the History of Rosemaling.

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum has a great resource for: What is Rosemaling.

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