Collections Connection: Billedvev (Tapestry Weaving)

I am giving a short lecture on Zoom tomorrow (June 8, 2021, 12 noon) for Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Collections Connection: Billedvev (Tapestry Weaving). You can still sign up today, or up to 9 am tomorrow, if you’d like to join in the conversation online. The lecture portion will be posted on the Vesterheim YouTube site in the future, too.

This is part of a series of conversations about wonderful objects in the Vesterheim collection. Their Norwegian tapestry collection is deep. They own two tapestries from the the “golden age of tapestry” in Norway (1550s-1700).

“The Adoration of the Magi,” 1600-1725. https://collections.vesterheim.org/virtual_galleries/tapestry-1984-123-001/
“Wise and Foolish Virgins,” 1630-1670. https://collections.vesterheim.org/virtual_galleries/tapestry-1987-143-001/

Vesterheim owns several tapestries from the National Romantic period, including four tapestries from Gerhard Munthe designs. My hook for the presentation will be looking at tapestries from three periods: the Baldishol Tapestry (Vesterheim owns THREE full-sized replicas), the 1600s, and the National Romantic period. We will be “design detectives,” looking at recurring motifs through time.

Once we look at several historical tapestries, you’ll be able to put your billedvev detective skills to good use when we look at this cushion-sized tapestry of a horse and rider from 1929.

The inscription reads, “Saa red jeg mig de stive mile frem.” The Vesterheim record says the inscription refers to a line from the folktale “Greven og Lille Lise” from Jutland, Denmark. If any readers know more about this particular design, please let me know!

Join the fun tomorrow (sign up here), or wait to see the version posted online. I will post a link, along with links to further information, soon.

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