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Bjork, Mabel Norris Anderson
b. 1902; d. 1996
Discipline: Painting, Sculpture

Born in Crookston, Minnesota in 1902, Mabel Norris Bjork arrived as a young child in Valley City, North Dakota in 1905. Until 1928, she split her time between Plaza, in the northwest portion of the state, and Valley City, which is in the southeast. She attended the State Teachers College in Valley City, where she studied art under Mary Goodrich Deem and Olga Stevning. Later, she studied portraiture under Montana artist Fritz Winold Reiss and sculpture under the Russian-born Alexander Archipenko.

In 1928, Bjork relocated to Kalispell, Montana, where she taught art at the local high school until she moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1944. She stayed in Grand Forks, where she was active in the arts community, until 1947.

Bjork’s major contribution to art was as the originator of what is known as “Firelit Faces,” which are portraits of Blackfeet Indian peoples.

- Ben Nemenoff


Barr, Paul E. North Dakota Artists. Grand Forks: University of North Dakota Library, 1954.

“Mabel Norris Anderson Bjork.” April 28, 2004. <>.

Other Sources:

State Historical Society of North Dakota

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