Minnesota born Rhoda Fritsch (1942-2017) won her gold medal in 1991 from the Vesterheim National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center in Decorah, Iowa. After taking up rosemåling as a hobby, she studied with master rosemålers and took five rosemåling tours to Norway. She also won several ribbons at the Vesterheim and her beautiful creations have been avidly collected for many years.
Mrs. Fritsch painted this impressively large 18 inch diameter wall plate in 1990, one year before she won her medal. The rosemåling style is called Telemark; the central medallion is painted with an asymmetrical design that starts with a flower in the center. A scroll branches out from there with more flowers and leaves. The wide rim is painted with scrolls, teardrops and dots. The shaded, opaque colors are apricot, rust and dark blue, highlighted with white, on a greyed-blue landscape (it has a little more blue in it than our photos show).
The plate is hand signed on the front "Rhoda Fritsch" with the number 7040790, the last two numbers the year she painted it. On the back is a tan paper label, which after 1991 would include the words "Vesterheim Gold Medalist." This beautiful piece weighs 2 pounds 10 ounces and projects about 1/2 inch from the wall. There is a hole on the back above the label for hanging and it can of course be propped on a shelf or a large plate stand. It's in great condition, with just some tiny flakes off the paint around the rim.
Rosemåling has been called the result of a deep yearning for the colorful flowers and warmth of summer expressed through painting objects to brighten the home. This fabulous rosemåled plate by Rhoda Fritsch will brighten your home and be treasured through the years ahead.