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Newsletter #253, July 16, 2014

Vancouver Photographer Fred Herzog Honoured by Canada Post

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On July 7, Canada Post released 7 new stamps celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Photography. Included is Bogner's Grocery by Vancouver's Fred Herzog who is famous for his photos of street life, capturing his subjects unaware, interacting with their environment.

Fred Herzog was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1930. He grew up in Stuttgart, but was evacuated from the city during the aerial bombardment of the Second World War. His parents died of illnesses during the war, after which he dropped out of school and found work as a seaman on ships.

Vancouver Photographer Fred Herzog
He emigrated to Canada in 1952, living briefly in Toronto and Montréal before moving to Vancouver in 1953. He worked for the Union, then C.P.R. Steamship Lines and studied photography.

Herzog took a job as a medical photographer at St. Paul's Hospital in 1956, then joined the University of British Columbia medical photography department. He became head of the Photo/Cine Division, Department of Biomedical Communications, at U.B.C, in 1961, and oversaw it for 29 years.

Herzog taught photography at Simon Fraser University between 1967 and 1969, then at U.B.C. from 1969 to 1974.

He had taken casual photos since childhood, and began to take it seriously after moving to Canada. His work focuses primarily on "ordinary" people, the working class, and their connections to the city around them. He worked primarily with slide film (mostly Kodachrome), which limited his ability to exhibit, and also marginalized him somewhat as an artist in the 1950s and 60s when most work was in Black and White.

He exhibited his photographs in group shows in 1966 and 1969, and had his first solo show in 1972.  In 1974, Fred Herzog won first prize for Best Motion Picture in the U.S. H.E.M.A./HESCA International Film Competition.  Since his retirement from U.B.C. in 1990, interest in Fred Herzog's photographs seems to have grown exponentially.

A 1960 photograph of Bognor's Grocery is a fitting subject for one of 7 stamps issued by Canada Post to celebrate 150 years of photography in Canada.

Vancouver Photographer Fred Herzog
Vancouver's Equinox Gallery has a lot of Fred's art on their web site.
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kd lang honoured on 31 July 2014 Canada Post stamp

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