59 Scandinavian Tapestries

collage-tapestry-1My friend Carol Johnson, a passionate collector of Scandinavian textiles, has many wonderful tapestries in her collection. I photographed 59 the other day, and that’s not counting the additional four on display at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota right now!

If you would like to see these pieces, I have scheduled a Weavers Guild mini-Scandinavian tapestry seminar for Thursday, May 31, 6-8 pm, at the Textile Center of Minnesota.


Scandinavian Tapestry Treasures

Whether your interest in Scandinavian tapestry focuses on history, design, or technique—or all three—take advantage of the opportunity to see 59 Swedish and Norwegian tapestries owned by local collector Carol Johnson. Carol purchased her treasures over several decades from auctions, dealers, and her new favorite venue, eBay. Enjoy the display and the opportunity to study the sett, wool, and images.  Robbie LaFleur will discuss the history of tapestry in Scandinavia, and the differences between Norwegian and Swedish traditions. 6-8 pm on Thursday, May 31, 2018, at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, located at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

$5 reservation reserves your spot. Open to the public. Questions? Please contact info@weaversguildmn.org.

A stack of the smaller tapestries

Over the last forty years Carol Johnson has snapped up wonderful bargains in her search for Scandinavian textiles.  Her tapestry collection, generally speaking, includes Norwegian and Swedish tapestries of modest size. The tapestries are charming and well-executed. Some are close approximations of historical pieces.

Many of them were likely woven by novice weavers. The piece below could have been woven by a student of tapestry, as it is pictured in Flemish Weaving: A Guild to Tapestry Technique by Gertrud Ingers, and the pattern is included at the back of the book. It is titled “Amanda II,” but the designer’s name is not included. The colors are rich, and the image is abstract and modernist.  You might guess it was designed at the time of the book’s publication, 1971.
Two more of the tapestries Carol purchased could very well have been drawn by the same designer; the style and colors are similar.


Carol knows the provenance of very few of the pieces, which feels like a bit of a challenge: can I find more information on the pieces or the cartoons on which they were based?  Or, as a group challenge, I hope that readers of my blog, or people that my readers may know, might have other clues.  Please let me know! Already, this has worked.  It was Linda Whiting on the Tapestry Facebook Group who alerted me to “Amanda II” in the Swedish book.


  1. I have just discovered your wonderful website, and I’ve so much enjoyed these entries about the 59 tapestries! I also wish I was in Minnesota and could attend your seminar- I would love to know more about the differences in Norwegian and Swedish tapestry traditions.