Pictures of Longing – Photography and the Norwegian-American Migration by Sigrid Lien, translated by Barbar Sjoholm
Sigrid 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 extremely well-researched book, written in a highly readable style, presents a gold-mine of material for anyone interested in Scandinavian-American history, immigrant history, history of the Midwest, and the history of American photography.