Collection of stunning American Indian portraits unveiled


A rare collection of 22 large photographic portraits of American Indians dating to the early 1900s is being unveiled Thursday at the American Indian Resource Center at the Bemidji State University, the Bemidji Pioneer reports.

The photographs were taken by an émigré from Denmark, Niels Larson Hakkerup, one of the leading portrait photographers of American Indians in the nation at the time, who set up his studio in Bemidji around 1900.

The images lay abandoned and covered with dust for years before they were discovered by David Cooper, whose parents Aza and Miriam purchased the Hakkerup studio in town in 1946.

The photo subjects include members of the Leech Lake and Red Lake Nations. Among the photos is a picture of Chief Bemidji, the city's namesake.

"A photograph is more than just a pretty picture, it is a window into history," Anton Treuer, Ojibwe professor at BSU, told the newspaper.

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