This portrait of Frank Nakako was taken on March 6, 1927, at New Studio, Rock Springs. Nakako emigrated from Japan and moved to Rock Springs when he was 24. He, along with Charles August, started New Studio in 1919. In 1923, Nakako sold his portion of the business to August and eventually moved to California with his family. (Sweetwater County Historical Museum)

An exhibit of photographs from the enduring New Studio in Rock Springs will be on display in that town through the end of the year. The show displays pictures taken in Rock Springs by photographers and owners of the New Studio, which started in 1919, according to a story in the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner. Some New Studio photographs also appear in the 1990 book “An American Place: A Centennial Portrait of Rock Springs, Wyoming” assembled by Val Brinkerhoff and A. Dudley Gardner, former Western Wyoming Community College instructors.

Amanda Benson, Curator at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum solved one mystery related to New Studio when she uncovered a portrait of one of the original owners. Featured here, it shows Frank Nakako, who launched the studio with Charles August. The side-by-side images are typical of those taken with a stereo camera and viewed through stereoscopes to produce a 3-D image.

Nakako sold his interest in the business in 1923. The portrait of him was taken in 1927. Nakako eventually moved with his family to California. New Studio still operates at 420 South Main.

The exhibit is on display through Oct. 31 at the Historic Bunning Transfer Building, 603 South Main. It moves to Escape Day Spa, 430 Broadway, through the end of November and will be displayed in December at downtown branch of Rock Springs National Bank.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *