On the way back to Montana last fall we made a detour to Dacorah, Iowa to visit the Vesterheim Museum. Northeast Iowa and Minnesota had a large influx of Norwegian immigrants in the 1800's and early 1900's. The Vesterheim Museum's collection is all about the early life of these settlers. I had read about the collections of old looms and old textiles and it was a couple of hours drive out of our way to visit, and so worth a quick side trip. The main building has large exhibits including a 25 foot wooden sail boat and a recreated settler's log cabin, fully furnished. The museum is located in historic buildings in downtown Dacorah, but also includes some small outbuildings that have been moved to the site.
Many of the textiles are rag rugs or rag bed covers to keep the settlers warm at night. Tme museum also has exhibitions of contemporary crafts, created in the Norwegian tradition. In looking through my photos, I recognize the rug at right. It is very similar to a rug found in the book Favorite Rag Rugs, by Tina Ignell. The interesting thing is I just finished a rug very similar to this following photos and instructions from the book.
|Contemporary Rag Rug|
|Detail of Rag Rug|
|Old Loom with Art Weaving|
|Bed Cover on the Loom|