Burns History

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Boise by Burns is a collection of negatives from the files of The Burns Studio, a multi-generational photography studio, located at 13th & State Streets in Boise, Idaho. The Burns Studio was built in 1919 and has been family owned and operated for over ninety years in the same location.   Four photographers have been behind the camera during this time. Grover Burns started his photography business in Meridian, Idaho in 1914, building a home studio and moving to the current Boise location in 1919. Grover’s daughter, Fern Lucille (Burns) Sawyer was the photographer from the early 1930’s until her marriage in the mid 1940’s.  Stanley Burns, Grover’s son, reopened the family studio in 1954, quickly becoming a premier photographer, who photographed a multitude of business leaders, families and high school seniors, with the help of his wife Marylu. Stanley and Marylu Burns retired in 1989, selling the business to their daughter, Marilyn and her husband, Kelly Bickle, the fourth Burns Studio photographer. 

The Burns Studio retains many of the negatives created over this ninety year period.  There are gaps in the collection, due to the instability of nitrate negatives, which were used for a period of time and the rationing of silver during World War II, which required the exchange of silver laden exposed negatives for new film and paper.

We have started with the early negatives of Grover Burns and are working our way forward through the files. The complete cataloguing of this collection is very much  a work in progress and we will be updating this  site regularly.   It is amazing to see the generations of families that have passed through the doors of The Burns Studio; we hope you enjoy our website.