Trunk © 1990 Nancy Morgan Trunk © 1990 Nancy Morgan

Gold Medal In: Rosemaling, 1990

  • Life Dates Born 1937, Kingston, Rhode Island
  • Occupation Housewife/Artist
  • Residence at Time of Award West Des Moines, Iowa


  • 1975 White ribbon for a cheese box
  • 1975 White ribbon for a plate
  • 1980 White ribbon for a trunk
  • 1983 Red ribbon for a cheese box
  • 1983 White ribbon for a box with blue and black scrolls
  • 1986 White ribbon for a large plate
  • 1990 White ribbon for a trunk

Artist Statement

I first learned about rosemaling in 1970 when I saw a demonstration of the art. I had been painting for most of my life but had come to a standstill because I was not interested in the modern styles of painting that were popular at that time. I took rosemaling classes in adult education for a few years before going to Vesterheim for my first class with a Norwegian teacher, Bergljot Lunde. This was my first experience watching an artist demonstrate on her own piece of painted wood showing all the steps to complete the flowers and scrolls. This was truly a life-changing experience. It was wonderful to do nothing but paint for an entire week. During the years that followed I went to Vesterheim about once a year for more classes. My favorite teachers were Bergljot Lunde, Sigmund Aarseth, Nils Ellingsgard, and Knut Buen. I also studied all the books and pictures I could find, as well as taking two study trips to Norway. Thomas Luraas’ work had a big influence on me. Ethel Kvalheim continues to inspire me.

After many years of using oil paint I began to have allergies and was forced to change to acrylic paint. It took about four years before I was really comfortable with acrylics. Now I can say I really like it better than oil.

I shall always be grateful to Vesterheim for all the opportunities they have given me.