Earlier this week I visited the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. Vesterheim’s extensive collection of artifacts related to Norwegian immigrants in America includes many examples of furniture made by Norwegians in Wisconsin, most notably the early immigrant cabinetmaker Aslak Lie of Dane County and the well-known rosemaler Per Lysne of Stoughton.
I spent two days at Vesterheim photographing furniture and other artifacts with the help of curator Tova Brandt. I also had the opportunity to visit Vesterheim’s Jacobson Farmstead, about 7 miles outside Decorah, with Deputy Director Steven Johnson. Pastor Abraham Jacobson and his family lived in the Town of Perry in the southwest corner of Dane County, Wisconsin from 1868-1878. They brought many of the furnishings from their Perry home to Iowa when they relocated to a farm near Decorah in the late 1870s. The walnut center table (above) and cane-seat rocking chair used in the Jacobson’s parlor in Perry (see image below) are now among the furnishings at the Jacobson Farmstead.
Interior of Perry Lutheran Church Parsonage, ca. 1877. Photograph by Andreas Larsen Dahl. Wisconsin Historical Society WHi-27217.
Posted by Emily Pfotenhauer.