Eric Enstrom

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Enstrom was a photorapher in Bovey, Minnesota who created and photographed the now world-famous picture Grace in 1918. The photo is of an elderly man bowing in prayer at a table. A loaf of bread, a book, and a bowl are on the table. This picture is hung in millions of homes and churches all around the world.
~Mike Flaherty, Duluth, MN



Eric Edward Enstrom was born 28 December 1875 in Garsås, Mora parish, Dalarna/Kopparberg lån (county), Sweden, and died 16 November 1968 in Grand Rapids, Itasca County, Minnesota. Sometimes the first name was spelled "Erich" or "Erik".

He left Sweden in 1890 and settled in Minnesota by 1891. Enstrom graduated from the Minnesota School of Photography in Minneapolis in 1900.

Eric Enstrom married Esther Amelia Peterson on 25 December 1906. (Esther was born 24 August 1883 to Albertina Hillstrom and Emanual Peterson in Carver, Minnesota, and died 15 July 1961 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.) Eric and Esther first resided in Milaca, where Eric was working as a photographer, until the summer of 1907 when they moved to Bovey. Their six children were born in Bovey:Roger Emmanuel, born 30 September 1907; Margaret Albertina, born 20 October 1913 (married Clarence Olson; Warren Clayton, born 26 January 1915; Rhoda Doris, born 10 February 1917 (married Vincent Nyberg); Elva Cordeila, born 3 December 1918 (married Stephen Price); and Lois Devona, born 1 July 1920 (married Kenneth Berendts).

Enstrom operated Enstrom Studio in Bovey until he retired in 1946, when he sold the business to his son Roger. He was a trustee and honorary life member of the Minnesota Professional Photographers Association and also was a member of the Professional Photographers of America.

Eric Enstrom is best known for his 1918 photograph called "Grace." The image was designated the Minnesota State Photograph in 2002 (Minn. Statute 1.1498)[1].

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Minnesota Statute 1.1498 designates "Grace" by Eric Enstrom as the State Photograph and requires that a copy of the photograph be displayed in the Secretary of State's Office.

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