Grace - Bovey, MN
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member wildernessmama
N 47° 17.725 W 093° 24.956
15T E 468553 N 5238077
Quick Description: A brass marker in front of city hall tells about the famous photograph “Grace” which was taken here by Eric Enstrom in 1918.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 7/1/2013 5:21:03 AM
Waymark Code: WMHEHQ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member KC0GRN
Views: 1

Long Description:
A brass marker in front of city hall tells about the famous photograph “Grace” which was taken by Eric Enstrom in 1918 here in this small town of Bovey. There is also a marker that gives a short biography of Enstrom, and a relief carving of the “Grace” photo. The text reads:

Grace by Enstrom. The Story of a World Famous Picture of Photographic Art.

“Grace” is one of the most famous photographs ever taken. The photo hangs in thousands of homes, churches, and restaurants throughout the world.

It was the year of the Great War, 1918, when Charles Wilden of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, a bearded, saintly old man with footscrapers to sell, called on Enstrom at his studio in Bovey.

There was something about the old gentleman’s face that immediately impressed Enstrom on that day in 1918. “I saw that he had a kind face…there weren’t any harsh lines in it.” He invited Wilden to stay for dinner and then asked him to pose for him. On a small table, Enstrom placed a large family Bible, and on it laid a pair of spectacles. Next to the Bible he placed a dish of gruel, a loaf of bread and a knife. Wilden folded his hands and bowed his head in a manner which appeared easy and natural for him. Enstrom had the picture he was looking for.

At the time Enstrom was preparing a portfolio of pictures to take with him to a convention of the Minnesota Photographers Association. However, it received a poor reception when he took it to the convention that year.

A few years later when Enstrom took it to the convention again it was hung in exhibit and received warm critical acclaim.

Most sales in the early 1920’s were to traveling people who were coming through Bovey and saw the picture in the window of his studio. As soon as one print was sold, he'd make another to take its place.

The early “Grace” pictures were printed in black and white or in brown tint. Later, Enstrom’s daughter, Mrs. Rhoda Nyberg of Coleraine, began hand-painting them in oils and interest in the photograph soared.

In 1957, Enstrom sold the copyright to the Augsberg Publishing House in Minneapolis.
Marker Type:: City

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