Around 1920, the photographer Eric Enstrom took a picture of a white-bearded visitor to his studio in Bovey. The resulting image, which Enstrom dubbed “Grace,” gained international recognition and also was designated Minnesota’s official state photo in 2002.

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Eric Enstrom was a swedish American photographer who lived and also worked in the mining town of Bovey. Roughly 1920 (some accounts date the event to 1918), an itinerant salesman called Charles Wilden checked out his studio. Impressed by what he recognized as kindness in the male face, Enstrom inquiry Wilden come pose because that a picture. He had actually Wilden clasp his hands and bow his head, together in prayer, while seated at a table with an arrangement of family objects, consisting of a book, a loaf of bread, and also a key of soup. He dubbed the photo “Grace.”


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Enstrom written “Grace” to stand for survival in the face of hardship. He later linked it to people War I and the hefty toll the trenches that Europe had actually taken ~ above American lives, as well as the rationing confronted by Minnesotans on the home front. In a 1961 interview, he described his intention to capture picture that would certainly inspire thankfulness in world who had withstood privations during the war. Through highlighting Wilden’s devout posture and also humble surroundings, that aimed to evoke the heart of religious faith, thankfulness, and also humility he associated with many of the freshly arrived European immigrant to Minnesota.

Enstrom and also his daughter, the artist Rhoda Nyberg, painted end prints the the originally black-and-white photo to provide it the appearance of a vivid oil painting. Nyberg continued to repaint versions of the photo for the rest of her life, also painting a matching image illustrating an yonsei woman.

During the 1950s, the Enstrom family members sold the civil liberties to “Grace” toAugsburg publishing Housein Minneapolis — a publisher linked with the American Lutheran Church. The photograph continued to thrive in popular in Minnesota and across the unified States, and also by 1961, Augsburg Publishing had sold twenty thousand prints.

In 2002, councilor Bob Lessard of international Falls and Representative Loren Solberg of Bovey funded a invoice in the state legislature the designated “Grace” the main state photograph. Governor Jesse Ventura signed it right into law later that year. Secretary the State mar Kiffmeyer hung a sepia publish of the photo on her office wall, as mentioned in the bill.

In the 2010s,Augsburg Fortress (a brand-new incarnation that Augsburg Publishing)continues to market prints of “Grace.” due to the fact that 1995, the image has been in the publicly domain and also can be found onmany net sites. The snapshot hangs in the cabin the theNorthwestern, the Alaskan crab fishing watercraft featured in the exploration Channel’s fact TV present “Deadliest Catch.” In 1993, a monument to “Grace” and also its creator was set up near Bovey town Hall.

For an ext information top top this topic, check outthe original entry ~ above MNopedia.

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Harris Burkhalter

Harris Burkhalter is one intermittent librarian in the Hennepin county Library system and has learned Minnesota background at Minnesota State university Mankato and library science at St. Catherine University. He has actually presented in ~ the OLAC-MOUG Conference, NAHA-Norway Conference, and Northern good Plains history Conference, and also has served as a judge on Minnesota background Day because 2011.