book review, photograpy


Joanna Cohan Scherer resurrects the career of Benedicte Wrensted (1859-1949), a photographer who emigrated from Denmark in 1893 and set up her studio in Pocatello, Idaho, a town of about 4,500 population. Over the next seventeen years, Wrensted produced approximately one hundred seventy known photographs of Northern Shoshone, Bannock and Lemhi tribal members who lived on the nearby Fort Hall Indian Reservation, along with numerous pictures of the Euro-American citizens of Pocatello as well. Though several of Wrensted's photographs of the Sha-Ban (as the tribes refer to themselves) were well known and had been frequently published, it was not until Scherer's work that the identity of the photographer was known and, subsequently, her oeuvre began to be reconstructed and analyzed. The Sho-Ban were not as extensively photographed as other tribal peoples, so that Scherer's work on Wrensted not only brings recognition to this Danish immigrant female photographer, but also to the Indian nations, and particularly to this period of transition for the Sho-Ban.1