Previous Page

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center ♦ 502 W. Water St., Decorah, IA 52101 View Map

P: 563.382.9681 | F: 563.382.8828 | |
Wheelchair Accessible
Pet Friendly
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center Explore the American immigrant story at Vesterheim Museum. Vesterheim houses the largest collection of Norwegian artifacts in the world. Vesterheim's Folk Art School is a national center for classes in rosemaling, painting, jewelry, woodworking, knifemaking, food traditions, and fiber arts.

With 33,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, this national treasure showcases the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world. The Main Building includes four floors of exhibitions. Step inside to discover stories of courage and beauty. You’ll find a cabin made from a single tree, elaborate costumes, colorful paintings, silver wedding crowns, woven tapestries, and even a boat that sailed the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Open Air Division includes a restored stone mill dating from 1851; a house from Valdres, Norway; two pioneer log houses; a blacksmith shop; a Lutheran church; and a prairie home. 
You won’t believe what’s here! USA Today named Vesterheim one of “ten great places in the nation to admire American folk art,” and Fodor’s, the world-respected travel guide, named Vesterheim one of “15 Best Small-Town Museums in the U.S. ” 
Vesterheim is also a national heritage center for folk-art education with classes in rosemaling, woodworking, knifemaking, food traditions, and fiber arts. Vesterheim’s Museum Store offers everything Norwegian from sweaters and traditional jewelry to chocolates and lingonberry wine. It also includes a full selection of folk-art supplies. 
The museum is open daily all year and hosts annual festivals, presentations, and rotating exhibitions. Vesterheim also offers special programs for children and welcomes group tours.