Design your own Norwegian museum

Vesterheim invites you to the Jan. 3 opening reception for The Museum Lab

The Museum Lab

Photo courtesy of Vesterheim
Put on a lab coat and test out new museum exhibits at Vesterheim.

Decorah, Iowa

Put on a lab coat and get experimenting! Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, invites everyone to an opening reception for the exhibit “The Museum Lab” on Jan. 3, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The exhibit is sponsored by David and Brenda Carlson of Decorah.

The opening coincides with Free First Thursday, and there will be free admission, food, activities, and a gallery talk at 4:30 p.m. by Vesterheim curators.

“The Museum Lab” is a brand-new project that invites visitors to shape Vesterheim’s future by testing new exhibits, tours, classes, and programs in their early stages of development.

“We’re interested in how we can best serve you, our visitors,” said Vesterheim Gifts Officer Kirsten Heine. “The Museum Lab showcases ideas for everything from Vesterheim displays to restaurant possibilities, and it gives fun interactive ways for all ages to test them out and let us know what you think,” she explained.

Heine said that “The Museum Lab” will be constantly updated and changed over the year, so it could be different each visit.

“Bring your kids to the opening reception after school, and they will be a part of Vesterheim’s future for our community,” Heine said.

With world-class exhibitions and 12 historic buildings in Decorah, Iowa, Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, showcases historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and explores the American immigrant experience. This national treasure is also a center for folk-art education. For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at

This article originally appeared in the December 28, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.