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“Vesterheim museum visit”
Review of Vesterheim

Ranked #1 of 25 things to do in Decorah
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Through 24,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world and is a national center for folk-art classes.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

My husband and I decided to visit NE Iowa and Decorah. The Vesterheim is a lovely museum, celebrating the Norwegian heritage of so many people who emigrated to the area, I went mostly because I admire the traditional tole & decorative painting that is predominant in this culture. They currently have a competition of the Norwegian art forms, including woodworking, weaving, carving and painting. Guests can vote for their favorite pieces. All are very impressive. We did not arrive in time for the tour of the outer buildings, but they offered us the opportunity to come back the next day on our current paid admission. Additionally, my favorite exhibition is the ceramic flowers that are on display, in the form of a wave through the hall. They are made by some Norwegian women, who came to Decorah to set up the display. I love ceramic art and this is awesome. It will be there for a few more months, I believe. Well worth the trip to the Vesterheim.

Thank Margery T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 - 130 of 166 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2014

We enjoyed our visit to this wonderful regional and cultural museum outlining the history of Norwegian culture, emigration and assimilation in the US. It has some unusual and interesting artifacts that are quite unique. For a small regional museum it is well laid out and easy to get around. The small museum store in the block next to the museum as some nice gifts and Norwegian cultural items for sale. It turned out to be a great stop and an interesting visit.

Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2014 via mobile

We spent time looking at all the displays. I was impressed by the variety of the collection. It was fun for me to learn more about the Norwegian heritage I have. A gem for a small town. We also looked at the buildings outside but did not stay for the guided tour.

1  Thank Michelle245248
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2014

This small museum is loaded with lots of Norwegian history and artifacts and provides a good overview of their lives in Norway, emigrating to America and their lives in America. It contains the smallest sailboat known to have sailed the Atlantic unassisted (Norway to Chicago), homes they lived in, home furnishings, old church furnishings, old guns, a section on Norwegian participation in the Civil War and WWI/WWII, skies, clothing, travel trunks, furniture, tools, kitchen and dining items, linotype and printing presses, etc. Generally it contains the kinds of things you would expect to see in a museum, but focused on Norwegian people.

At the other end of the block is a large gift shop where one can purchase souvenirs, many nice clothing items from Norway as well as the usual t-shirts, cups, etc. A couple of t-shirts were quite clever - one on the back said "Viking World Tour" and listed the countries it "visited" concluding with America, while another showed a Viking ship with the label "Very Old Navy".

A very well done museum for such a small community and one for those of Viking heritage and non-Vikings as well to enjoy.

Thank flylikeahawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2014

Since our ancestors came from Norway, we celebrated Settende Mai at this museum. It was an excellent collection which we would definitely recommend and will visit again and again when we are in the area. There was a Settende Mail celebration with Nordic Dancers of all ages. Ruth was an excellent tour guide (20 yrs experience) who showed us the outside buildings and gave us lots of information about the Norwegian settlers who came in the 19th and early 20th century and contributed to the rich culture of this area. Would highly recommend to anyone, not only those of Scandinavian descent. This museum was as good as if not even better than some of the Norwegian Folk Museums we visited in Norway!

Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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