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The Baldishol: A Medieval Norwegian tapestry inspires contemporary textiles

The Baldishol: A Medieval Norwegian tapestry inspires contemporary textiles kicks off with an opening party on Friday, June 26, 2020, from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM with a short program at 6:30 PM. The exhibit runs from Friday, June 26 - Sunday, August 30.

Call for Artists

We are looking for original weavings and other art works in fiber that look to the Baldishol Tapestry for inspiration, not replication, for a textile art exhibit at Norway House in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the summer of 2020.  The purpose of the exhibit is to highlight the talent and creativity of textile artists, internationally, while educating Norway House audiences about the famous Norwegian tapestry.

Examine the rich images of the April and May panels. Elements of the images an could be woven, perhaps in multiples—birds? The dots of the horses? The designs of the bands? Could you weave cloth and make the tunic of one of the figures? Or make the shoes, or the helmet? Could you imagine the characters in a different time period, sowing seeds or going to war? If the Baldishol tapestry was only two months of a longer frieze, what would have happened on other panels?

How are you inspired by the Baldishol Tapestry?

Details and dates

This show will be curated by a group from Norway House and the Weavers Guild of Minnesota.  To be included, you must submit an application. One piece per entrant, which must be original and executed by the artist, will be accepted into the show based on relevance to the theme as well as overall concept, design, and technique.

Applications will be taken from March 1-December 15, 2019, or until the exhibit space is filled. The piece does not need to be completed for approval of the concept. Applications will be processed within 6 weeks of receipt.  

Approved pieces should be delivered to Norway House between June 8-June 20, 2020. Shipping to Norway House is the responsibility of the artist; return shipping will be paid by Norway House. 

Cost:  The application fee is $25, to help defray administrative costs.

Sales: Items may be for sale, but transactions are the responsibility of the artist, not Norway House (due to its tax status). 

An Exhibit catalog will be published and available for purchase.



Works in The Baldishol: A Medieval Norwegian Tapestry Inspires Contemporary Textiles will be judged before the opening by Karen Searle, noted Minnesota artist, and Laurann Gilbertson, Curator of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

  • First Prize: $250

  • Second Prize: $100

  • People’s Choice: $50 (to be given following the exhibit)


NOTE: A “*” designates a required field. Unless all required fields are filled out, your application will not be submitted.

Artist Name *
Artist Name
Mailing Address
Mailing Address
Please provide a mailing address for return shipment
Photo(s) of Concept Sketch, If Available
By checking this box, the artist indicates that a photo(s) of their concept will be sent within three days of submission. Photos should be sent to Robbie LaFleur at

Tapestry History & Threads Through the White House

Most people aware of weaving traditions in Norway (or Europe) have seen an image of the famous Baldishol Tapestry.  This tapestry textile fragment, depicting the months of April and May, was discovered in Norway in 1879 when a church was torn down. It is now recognized as one of the earliest European tapestries.

This Norwegian historical treasure has been replicated many times.  The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, alone has three full-sized copies. Many students in Scandinavian weaving schools in past decades wove copies of the head of “April man.”

A group of Norwegian-American women presented a replica to Mrs. Calvin Coolidge in 1926, in honor of the Norse-American Centennial celebrated the year before.  The First Lady accepted it warmly, indicating it was just what was needed to lend a personal touch to the White House. But what happened to the tapestry? Read about the presidential connection in “The Baldishol Tapestry in the White House” by Hermund Kleppa in The Norwegian Textile Letter.


Contact Robbie LaFleur at

Sponsors include Norway House, the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, the Textile Center of Minnesota, and the Norwegian Textile Letter.  

Information above courtesy of the Norwegian Textile Letter.

Earlier Event: June 14
Norge Knitters (June 2020)
Later Event: July 12
Norge Knitters (July 2020)