New Books Network

Sigrid Lien

Pictures of Longing

Photography and the Norwegian-American Migration

University of Minnesota Press 2018

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PhotographyNew Books in Politics & Society April 8, 2019 Colin Mustful

In one of history’s largest migrations, hundreds of thousands of Norwegians immigrated to North American during the 1800s and early 1900s. In addition to...

In one of history’s largest migrations, hundreds of thousands of Norwegians immigrated to North American during the 1800s and early 1900s. In addition to letters sent home, Norwegian-Americans often included photographs showcasing their new American lives. In her book, Pictures of Longing: Photography and the Norwegian-American Migration (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), Dr. Sigrid Lien keenly evaluates the photographs Norwegian immigrants sent home—including one of her own grandfather. Throughout the book, Lien delves into the lives of everyday people seeking a new and prosperous life in America. Using talented writing and skillful research Sigrid Lien brings the past to life without overlooking the important historical context in which the Norwegian-American migration took place. A new edition translated by Barbara Sjoholm, Pictures of Longing is an endlessly fascinating account of real people who, through photographs, sought to share their experience during a time of hope and change.

Sigrid 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.


Colin Mustful has an M.A. in history from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is currently a candidate for an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Augsburg University. You can learn more about his work at his website: www.colinmustful.com.