Heritage Memorialized


Shoes Shoes
Decorated by Olga Edseth, 1998
Recycled shoes, paint
Gift of Olga Edseth
MHAHS 2003.056.0001

Clothing often expresses ethnic identity, and these hot pink pumps with two-inch heels make a size eight cultural fashion statement. In 1998, Olga Edseth purchased this pair of leather shoes at a Dodgeville garage sale for fifty cents. Norwegian folk painting has a rich tradition of rosemaling a variety of surfaces. The decoration of these particular functional objects not only draws on this practice, but gains new life and symbolic meaning through Norwegian folk painting.  These shoes become heritage “on the go.” In addition to signing and dating her work on the shoes’ soles, Olga lists the price she paid and notes that these are, “The first pair of shoes I ever rosemaled.”

Olga Edseth poses in bunad. MHAHS 8×10.00320.


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