"Catalog" includes all photos documented to date by location or type of artwork.

"Chronological"  presents her work in order of the date they were painted. [IN PROGRESS]

Karen Jenson is in her 80's and spent her career in Milan, MN (population 320). Karen began Rosemaling in 1972 at the age of 36. She learned from her mother that the Sons of Norway in Ortonville had hired an artist from St. Paul to teach Norwegian Rosemaling. She returned to her hometown to take her first class, and at that teacher’s suggestion, she began to take classes from Sigmund Aarseth at Vesterheim Museum, Decorah, Iowa.

Rosemaling originated in Norway and consists of painted floral designs and inscriptions. It appeals to Scandinavian Americans who wish to stay connected to their heritage. Karen’s start was primarily in Norwegian Rosemaling which is more decorative. Because of their Swedish background, her mother suggested that she try painting the Swedish style. Karen enjoys Swedish painting as it includes stories, humor and is not afraid to talk about birth, death, and record everyday life.

Karen has been semi-retired from painting for a few years. She has 45 years of work that is spread out across area churches, businesses and homes in southwestern Minnesota and beyond. Rosemaling fills Karen’s home and studio. She is a skilled master artist and a Minnesota treasure.

This website is the result of a grant from the MN State Arts Board Folk and Traditional Arts grant program in 2019 which funded Karen to document a portion of her large body of work and the stories that surround the work. She is working with Kristi Link Fernholz to take the photographs and organize the project.

If you'd like to give feedback on this project, please fill out this survey:


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Legacy Logo ColorFinal
Untitled photo
Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In