January 11, 2023

Swedish Folk Painting Kurbits and Bonader

  •  February 26, 2023
     9:00 am - 1:00 pm
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Inspired by medieval tapestries, bonadsmålningar (bonad paintings) were densely patterned figurative paintings that hung in homes in Halland and Småland, Sweden during festive occasions. You will view several examples of this traditional folk painting style with a focus on the work of folk artist Johannes Nilsson (1757-1827). Nilsson filled his long narrative paintings with biblical stories, Swedish motifs, fashions, folk patterns, and floating flowers and blåfärgadebubblor. You will also study dalmålning (dala painting), also known as kurbits painting which also flourished in Sweden in the 18th and 19th centuries. The kurbit was a fantastical gourd plant commonly used in folk paintings in Dalarna Sweden, as a symbol of good luck. After looking at these examples, you will create your own bonadkurbit, or a blended style painting on canvas board using traditional designs, acrylic paint, and a contemporary color palette!

*Participants may want to research these Swedish folk art traditions before class. Google images and Instagram are filled with examples for inspiration!

In this four-hour introductory workshop, you will gain new skills in Swedish figurative folk painting. The class will begin at 9am in the Dovetail Café stuga (cabin) to view the exhibition of Alison Aune’s Swedish folk paintings on display. Following this, we will take coffee upstairs to the workshop for a slide show about Swedish folk painting, followed by a demonstration and composition building on paper and canvas. Then more coffee, or chai, if needed, and more painting! An hour lunch break will happen from 11-12. From 12-1 students will complete their painting and share their work in an informal critique. Välkomna!

Registration Includes

Instruction and all supplies and you will go home with your own colorful Swedish bonad inspired painting filled with traditional and new designs!

You should bring…

A smock, pencil, and you are welcome to bring your favorite paint brushes, but brushes will be provided.

Skill Level

No prior experience needed.

Best for Ages…

7 years old and up.

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1917 W Superior St, Duluth Folk School Library, Duluth, Minnesota, 55806, United States


The Library is upstairs in the Duluth Folk School/Dovetail Cafe building.

Duluth Folk School Library Classroom

Note: The Library is up one flight of stairs, and we do not have an elevator.


Question or comment?


Duluth Folk School
1917 W Superior St
Duluth, MN 55806
(218) 481-7888


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