Portrait of Chief Bemidji

by Carl L. Boeckmann

About the art

Depicted here is Shaynowishkung, an Ojibwa man known as Chief Bemidji, celebrated for his role as a peacekeeper and charismatic, kind, and gentle leader. The artist, a Norwegian immigrant who settled permanently in Minneapolis in 1905, painted a remarkable record of prominent Norwegians and American Indians of the day including naturalist John Burroughs, lumber magnate T.B Walker and his wife, and President William McKinley, who posed for the artist in 1896 at the Windsor Hotel in St. Paul while serving as governor of Ohio.

Donated by the Science Museum of Minnesota