Bowl with Proverbs © 1990 Elaine Schmidt Bowl with Proverbs © 1990 Elaine Schmidt

Gold Medal In: Rosemaling, 1990

  • Life Dates Born 1932, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Occupation Rosemaling teacher
  • Residence at Time of Award Hales Corners, Wisconsin


  • 1970 White ribbon
  • 1972 White ribbon for a mangletre
  • 1973 Red ribbon for a stand
  • 1973 Red ribbon
  • 1978 White ribbon for a table
  • 1990 White ribbon for a bowl with Proverbs

Artist Statement

My rosemaling career began when I decided to take a rosemaling class at our local Y.W.C.A so I could decorate our Swiss chalet home. I am of German descent, but my husband is partly Norwegian. When I first started rosemaling at a beginner’s class in 1970, I just wanted to paint a few pieces for our recently purchased Swiss chalet home. However, my love for the art grew and grew.

After a few years, I was invited to teach classes at the Y.W.C.A. in Hales Corners, and also at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Then, after 21 years of teaching at Milwaukee Area College, I decided to retire from there; however, I still hold classes on my own. During this time, the Norse Rosemaling Association of Milwaukee was formed, of which I am a charter member, serving in various capacities as an officer—President, etc.

In 1990, I received my Gold Medal in Decorah for a large bowl, which is now lovingly displayed on our fireplace wall. It was very exciting when I was commissioned to paint rosemaling on a large bowl for the Mayor of Milwaukee, who, in turn, presented the bowl to Governor Numata of Chiba, Japan, while he was in Milwaukee. This event took place during the exchange of culture between Japan and the State of Wisconsin.

Shortly after the exchange of culture event, I was invited to demonstrate the art of rosemaling at the first Chiba Fest in Chiba, Japan. This was a very exciting and eventful time for me with the presentation of my painted bowl as gift to Governor Numata in the Governor’s office.

Through the years I have taught rosemaling in various states, decorated various restaurants and homes, and was invited to judge numerous rosemaling exhibits, and to demonstrate rosemaling at many functions, all of which has been wonderful. The beauty of the Norwegian art form as expressed by the world-renowned painter Ethel Kvalheim has influenced me the most in my rosemaling career.