Harley Refsal is an internationally recognized figure carver, specializing in Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving.
The Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving is a style of figure carving. The figures are carved in large flat planes, created primarily using a carving knife. Tool marks are left in the carving and very little rounding or sanding is done. Emil Janel, a Swedish-born American artist, was considered by many to be one of the best of this genre.
Refsal was born and raised on a farm near Hoffman, Minnesota, which was homesteaded by his Norwegian-immigrant grandparents. He began working in wood as a young boy. His father, a carpenter and farmer, and a woodworker uncle who lived nearby kept him well supplied with wood, tools, and encouragement.
Hoffman is a city in Grant County, Minnesota, United States, along the Chippewa River. The population was 681 at the 2010 census.
Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.
Refsal lived in Norway in the 1960s and again in the 1980s, and has traveled extensively throughout Scandinavia. Upon retiring from full-time teaching at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa in 2010, he holds the title Professor Emeritus of Scandinavian Folk Art. Since the 1980s, Refsal, who speaks fluent Norwegian, has shared his knowledge of and skills in Scandinavian-style flat-plane figure carving with thousands of carvers through courses and presentations in North America and in Scandinavia.
Luther College is a private liberal arts college in Decorah, Iowa. Established as a Lutheran seminary in 1861 by Norwegian immigrants, the school today is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Decorah is a city in and the county seat of Winneshiek County, Iowa, United States. The population was 8,127 at the 2010 census. Decorah is located at the intersection of State Highway 9 and U.S. Route 52, and is the largest community in Winneshiek County.
Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture. Definitions vary, but generally the objects have practical utility of some kind, rather than being exclusively decorative. The makers of folk art are normally trained within a popular tradition, rather than in the fine art tradition of the culture. There is often overlap, or contested ground, with naive art, but in traditional societies where ethnographic art is still made, that term is normally used instead of "folk art".
Refsal is an Emeritus Member of the Caricature Carvers of America.In 1996 he was decorated by H.M. Harald V, King of Norway, receiving the St. Olav's Medal, in recognition of his role in reinvigorating and popularizing Scandinavian figure carving in both North America and Norway. Refsal teaches carving at a variety of course centers through the U.S., including Vesterheim Museum, Decorah, IA; North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN; Milan Village Arts School, Milan, MN; Norsk Wood Works, Barronett, WI; and the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.
In 1989, a group of ten wood carvers, with the common goal of promoting the art of caricature carving, met in the back room of Paxton Lumber Co. in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss the formation of a national organization to further that goal. From that meeting came the Caricature Carvers of America (CCA). The founding group consisted of fifteen nationally recognized wood carvers representing a broad geographical distribution as well as diverse styles of caricature carving. Since the inception of the CCA, two members have resigned, four have converted their membership to "emeritus" status, three are deceased, and eighteen new members have been elected, bringing the 2003 membership to 25. The newly formed organization made no claims of being "the best," although many of the members are readily recognized as being among the elite in the carving community. The combined membership has garnered several hundred first place ribbons, including many "Best-of-Show", in carving competitions across the nation; they have published over 80 books on wood carving; and they regularly teach wood carving seminars throughout the United States and Canada.
Harald V is the current King of Norway, having ascended to the throne upon the death of his father King Olav V on 17 January 1991.
The St. Olav's Medal and the St. Olav's Medal With Oak Branch were instituted by King Haakon VII of Norway on 17 March 1939. They are awarded in recognition of "outstanding services rendered in connection with the spreading of information about Norway abroad and for strengthening the bonds between expatriate Norwegians and their home country".
He was named 2012 Woodcarver of the Year by Woodcarving Illustrated Magazine.
The University of Oslo, until 1939 named the Royal Frederick University, is the oldest university in Norway, located in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Until 1 January 2016 it was the largest Norwegian institution of higher education in terms of size, now surpassed only by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked it the 58th best university in the world and the third best in the Nordic countries. In 2015, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked it the 135th best university in the world and the seventh best in the Nordics. While in its 2016, Top 200 Rankings of European universities, the Times Higher Education listed the University of Oslo at 63rd, making it the highest ranked Norwegian university.
Telemark University College was, until its merger, the fourth largest university college in Norway. The University College had about 7000 students, split between four different locations in Bø, Notodden, Porsgrunn, Rauland and Drammen.
Rauland is a mountain village in Telemark County, Norway. It is situated in the traditional region of Vest-Telemark.
Wood carving is a form of woodworking by means of a cutting tool (knife) in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure or figurine, or in the sculptural ornamentation of a wooden object. The phrase may also refer to the finished product, from individual sculptures to hand-worked mouldings composing part of a tracery.
A Dalecarlian horse or Dala horse is a traditional carved, painted wooden statue of a horse originating in the Swedish province of Dalarna (Dalecarlia). In the old days the Dalecarlian horse was mostly used as a toy for children; in modern times it has become a symbol of Dalarna, as well as of Sweden in general. Several different types of Dalecarlian horses are made, with distinguishing features common to the locality of the site where they are produced. One particular style has, however, become much more common and widespread than others. It is stoutly carved and painted bright red with details and a harness in white, green, yellow and blue.
Rosemåling, or rosemaling is the name of a traditional form of decorative folk art that originated in the rural valleys of Norway. Rosemåling is a style of Norwegian decorative painting on wood that uses stylized flower ornamentation, predominantly primary and secondary colors, scrollwork, lining and geometric elements, often in flowing patterns. Landscape and architectural elements are also common. Many other decorative painting techniques were used such as glazing, spattering, marbleizing, manipulating the paint with the fingers or other objects.
Carl Johan Trygg, formally Carl Johan Thrygg, also knowns as C. J. Trygg, woodcarver, was one of the recognized masters of twentieth century woodcarving, most famous for Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving. Between C. J. Trygg and his sons they carved over 10,000 figures. Many of his carvings were sold to tourists for approximately $10.00 USD. Adjusted for inflation what cost $10.00 in 1929 would cost $108.05 in 2005.
Carl Olof Trygg, was one of the recognized masters of 20th century woodcarving, most famous for Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving.
Axel Petersson Döderhultarn, formerly Axel Petersson, was a Swedish wood carver who was one of the recognized masters of wood carving, most famous for Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving.
Lars Trygg, woodcarver, was one of the recognized masters of 20th century wood carving, most famous for Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving.
Herbert S. Anderson, known commonly as H. S. "Andy" Anderson, was an American woodcarver, one of the recognized masters of 20th-century woodcarving, most famous for Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving and caricature carving.
Harold Enlow began woodcarving in the 1960s while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He has become one of America's leading wood carvers. He is a member of Caricature Carvers of America.
Marv Kaisersatt is an American woodcarver. He was born Marvin Robert Kaisersatt in Montgomery, Minnesota February 1, 1939 to Bessie and Benjamin Kaisersatt.
Nils Trygg (1914–1951) was one of the recognized masters of twentieth century woodcarving, most famous for the Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving. Nils Trygg was born in Småland, Sweden. He was one of three sons of Carl Johan Trygg and Maria Axelina Andersson. Nils worked with his father carving wooden figures of various common people in the Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving. Between Nils Trygg, his father and two brothers, they carved over 10,000 figures. Many of his carvings were sold to tourists for approximately $10 USD. Adjusted for inflation what cost $10 in 1929 would cost $108 in 2005.
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa is the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, with over 33,000 artifacts, 12 historic buildings, a Folk Art School, and a library and archives. This treasure showcases the most extensive collection of Norwegian- American artifacts in the world. Some of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. Vesterheim’s exhibitions explore the diversity of American immigration through the lens of the Norwegian-American experience and highlight the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts.
Emil Janel was a Swedish-born, American artist. A still life painter, he is mainly known for his caricatures in the Scandinavian flat-plane style of woodcarving, and is considered by many to be one of the best of this genre.
Nordic Fest is a weekend festival held annually in Decorah, Iowa, to commemorate the traditional customs and culture of Scandinavian countries, especially Norway. The event always occurs over the last weekend in July and often draws estimated crowds of 50,000 to 75,000.
Ulrik Vilhelm Koren was a Norwegian-American author, theologian and church leader. A pioneer Lutheran minister, he played a significant role in the development of the spiritual and intellectual development of Norwegians in America. Ulrik Vilhelm Koren has been called the "patriarch of Norwegian American Lutherans."
Herbjørn Nilson Gaustå also Herbjorn Gausta was an American artist who is best known for his landscapes, portraits, and scenes from rural settings. He left an early record of immigrant life in his portraits and paintings and helped establish a place for art in the culture of Norwegian-Americans.
Döderhultarn Museum is a museum located in Oskarshamn, Sweden.
Ragnvald Pedersson Einbu was a Norwegian woodcarver and painter.