Nordic Marketplace and Luncheon Benefit for Vesterheim Museum

DECORAH, Iowa — The Chicago Friends of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum invites everyone to The Nordic Marketplace and Luncheon on Saturday, March 28, at the Park Ridge Country Club in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Wooden container with chip carving by Marvin Bruha.

Wooden container with chip carving by Marvin Bruha.

The Marketplace and Silent Auction will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Norwegian Honorary Consul from Minneapolis and former Vesterheim Board Chair, Gary Gandrud. The Marketplace will feature artwork and gifts with a Scandinavian theme, such as jewelry, fine art, books, clothing, textiles, woodworking, rosemaling, bunads (Norwegian costumes) for dolls, and more. Marketplace vendors include Vesterheim, Country Gallery Antiques, Hjertehjem, Jock Holmen, Illinois Norsk Rosemalers’ Association, Vivian Morrison and Carole Floate, Nordic Designs, Mona Randem, Sally Schoch, Elea Uhl, and others. The Silent Auction will have wonderful and affordable items, including three beautiful chip-carved pieces by Marvin Bruha, a lovely Hardanger centerpiece, and a Swedish embroidered child’s cap.

The Luncheon will be at 12:30 p.m. and will include a greeting from Norwegian Honorary Consul General from Chicago Paul S. Anderson.

Tickets are $50 per person. Seating is limited. Advanced reservations are necessary and should be made by March 23. For further information please contact Vesterheim at 563-382-9681,, or check the museum’s website at

Hand embroidered child's cap. Photo courtesy of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

Hand embroidered child's cap. Photo courtesy of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

The Chicago Friends of Vesterheim Committee includes Robert and Evy Alsaker—co-chairs, Liz Ahlgren, Roar Broch, Karen Brunssen, Richard Fjeldheim, David Hoyem, Laurie Kosky, Kand and Kathy Larson, Peter, Martha, and Emma Nielsen, Ken and Julie Nordan, Lowell and Helen Olberg, and Norma Altern Smith.

Co-chair Evy Alsaker said, “We’re excited to welcome several new vendors as well as returning vendors to this year’s Marketplace. Additionally, there will be live demonstrations of weaving, woodcarving, woodworking and rosemaling. As always the food and service at the newly redecorated Park Ridge Country Club is superb! Join us for this unforgettable event!Proceeds of the event will benefit Vesterheim’s restoration of King Olav the V’s 1951 Cadillac limousine.

Vesterheim uses the story of Norwegian Americans to explore aspects of identity and culture common to everyone. The museum cares for over 24,000 artifacts, among which are some of the most outstanding examples of decorative and folk art to be seen in this country. Founded in 1877, Vesterheim is the oldest and most comprehensive museum in the United States dedicated to a single immigrant group. This national treasure includes a main complex of 16 historic buildings in downtown Decorah, and an immigrant farmstead and prairie church just outside the city.

From May 1 – Oct. 31, Vesterheim is open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with hours extended until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays.  From Nov. 1 – April 30, Vesterheim is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., with hours extended until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays and is closed Monday.  For more information on the museum’s exhibits, activities, and membership opportunities, consult Vesterheim’s website at, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 523 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.

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