Ethel Kvalheim

Gold Medal In: Rosemaling, 1969

  • Life Dates Born 1912. Died 2011
  • Residence at Time of Award Stoughton, Wisconsin


  • 1967 Blue ribbon for a trunk
  • 1968 Red ribbon for a cupboard
  • 1968 White ribbon for a corner cupboard
  • 1969 Blue ribbon for a plate
  • 1969 Red ribbon for a trunk

Artist Statement

Having been raised in a home with Norwegian parents who spoke Norwegian as well as English and who followed many Norwegian traditions and served many Norwegian foods, it would only be natural for Ethel to be interested in Norwegian culture.

Art was always important in her life, with her country school teacher recognizing her talent and urging her to peruse that talent.

During difficult economic times, Ethel took notice of her neighbor, Per Lysne, selling woodenware he had painted with rosemaling. Although she never had lessons, she started rosemaling and supplementing the household income with her painting. This need for an income became a pleasure that she was able to enjoy into her mid 90s, when she then became too weary to paint.

She often spoke about the years of her rosemaling as the best years of her life. She truly enjoyed the organizational events as well as the people she met over the years.

By Ethel Kvalheim’s son Gary Kvalheim