Frank B. Fiske (1883-1952) was born at the Fort Bennett military installation near Pierre, South Dakota. He became fascinated with photography at an early age and had his own commercial studio at age 17. Having grown up and attended school with Native Americans on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of North Dakota and South Dakota, he developed a deep appreciation for their culture. His studies of Indian history broadened his understanding and interest. Fiske’s work is prominent documentation of Northern Plains Indians.
In 1919, he married Angela Cournoyer, a descendent of fur trader Joseph Picotte and his Sioux wife. Commercial photography was not consistently profitable, and Frank took on other occupations, such as assistant river boat pilot, newspaper publisher and county auditor.
After Fiske’s death, the State Historical Society of North Dakota came into possession of 6,560 of his photographic negatives. Ownership of this priceless archive was acquired in 1970, and the Society also obtained some of his photographic equipment and approximately 1,000 original Fiske Studio prints. The North Dakota Heritage Foundation in cooperation with the North Dakota Historical Society published two portfolios of Fiske’s extensive work
in 1983. Prairie Edge then acquired complete ownership and rights to offer the Fiske Portfolio Collection for sale to the public in 1988.