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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Lysne, Per 1880 - 1947

Rosemaler, or flower painter, b. Laerdal, Sogn, Norway. Rosmaling, a Norwegian decorative painting technique employing flowers and expressions of hospitality, can credit its revival to Wisconsin immigrant Per Lysne. He immigrated to Stoughton, in Dane Co., on September 1st, 1906. He had been trained in rosemaling by his father, who had received the bronze medal at the Paris Exposition in 1898. In Norway, Per Lysne had helped his father paint churches, but in Stoughton he specialized in redecorating antique chests and painting large platters. His ¿Smogasbordet platter¿ was a commercial success, with companies such as the American Friends of Norway, Inc. requesting large quantities for sale. He also decorated the interiors of various clients' homes in Wisconsin, including actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in Genesee, Waukesha Co.; Vogue magazine featured pictures of the couple¿s guest room, including Per Lysne pieces, in a November 1933 issue.  Many of his decorative chests can be seen at Little Norway, a Norwegian museum in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. View pictures of him at work elsewhere at

[Source: Whyte, Bertha K. Craftsmen of Wisconsin. (Racine, Wisconsin: Western Company, Inc., 1971).]

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