Christian Midjo, “Califonia Poplars.”
Christian Midjo, “Califonia Poplars.”
Favorite treasures are in the spotlight at Vesterheim in the new exhibition, "Favorite Things," on view from Jan. 23 to April 27.

Vesterheim's collections include some remarkable pieces that have not recently been on display. The exhibition will highlight a wide-range of objects, including landscape paintings by Christian Midjo, a fiddle with red devils painted around the edge, a local Decorah-area family heirloom bunad (Norwegian costume) and real oak leaves with intricate etchings.

The popular picks in "Favorite Things" were selected by museum staff and visitors. Many of the objects were chosen for their beauty, but many also were chosen for their fantastic history or quirky story.

On Feb. 6, Free First Thursday, museum staff and volunteers will be in the exhibition gallery to talk about the stories behind the objects and why people selected them. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

When visitors come to the museum, they see about 10 percent of the vast collections of over 24,000 objects. The museum's three storage facilities house the rest of the collections.

Last August, 50 items were nominated by the public as worthy of being part of the exhibition. Everyone was invited to rate the items online and the top 15 items from this group are in the exhibition. Vesterheim staff also were asked to choose their favorite artifact and explain why they love the piece.

"My office is located in small object storage, so I'm constantly surrounded by Vesterheim's beautiful objects," Alison Dwyer, Vesterheim collections manager and curator of the exhibition, said. "Now you get to experience some of these amazing objects, too," she continued.

The exhibition is sponsored by Jon and Mary Hart with additional support from Farmers and Merchants Savings Bank.

For more information on the museum's exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities and ways to donate, check Vesterheim's website at or call 563-382-9681.