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Sigrid Lien Presentation: Pictures of Longing

May 6, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Sigrid Lien Lecture: Pictures of Longing

May 6, 2019 | 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Location: Vesterheim's Amdal-Odland Heritage Center / 523 W. Water St.

Sigrid Lien, author of Pictures of Longing—Photography and the Norwegian-American Migration will visit Vesterheim on May 6! She’ll give a slide show presentation about her research from 7:00-9:00 p.m. She will also be available for a book signing in the Museum Store from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on the same day.

In her book, Lien brings more than 250 photographs into focus as a moving account of Norwegian migration in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Between 1836 and 1915, in what has been called history’s largest population migration, more than 750,000 Norwegians emigrated to North America. Developments in photographic technology and distribution at the turn of the nineteenth century made it possible for them to keep up contact with their homeland and present detailed records of their encounter with a new country. Writing home, the newcomers sent thousands of pictures—”America–photographs,” as they are called in Norway.

This excellent study brings these people and the experience of immigration to life. Seeing these photographs alongside letters from the Norwegian immigrants, the emigrant experience unfolds as framed by thousands of Norwegian transplants in towns, cities, and rural communities across America.

This exhaustive research presents a gold-mine of material for anyone interested in Scandinavian-American history, immigrant history, history of the Midwest, Norwegian history, and the history of American photography.

Lien is professor of art history and photography studies at the University of Bergen, Norway, and a leading authority on Norwegian photography. She has published extensively on modern and contemporary visual culture and is the author of the first extensive history of photography in Norway.

This presentation is supported by the Bernice Rise Trust and NORLA, Norwegian Literature Abroad.


May 6, 2019
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM