Welcome to Traveling Traditions: Nordic Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest, a traveling panel exhibition with online components! This exhibition features a cross-section of traditions Nordic Americans practice in the region. From 2017–2019, graduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, trained in folklore fieldwork practices and working in cooperation with the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board, spent their summers traveling to communities throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. There they met with and documented many of the artists who are sustaining Scandinavian traditions, sharing them with their communities, and passing them along to others.
Featuring seven artists from Minnesota and Wisconsin, this exhibition offers a look at the ways in which Nordic folk arts are practiced and sustained in the Upper Midwest. These traditions are just one small part of the cultural heritage that makes the Upper Midwest home to people from all over the world.
Our seven artists are featured on six separate webpages where you can read their stories, hear short audio clips from their interviews, view more pictures of their work, and, in some cases, see short video demonstrations. We hope you enjoy exploring different facets of Nordic American folk art in the Upper Midwest through this online exhibition.