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Photography Photoessays & Documentaries

Richard Harrington

Arctic Photography 1948-53

foreword by Gerald McMaster

contributions by Stephen Bulger

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Aug 2023
Photoessays & Documentaries, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price

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"I am often asked what is the most memorable photograph I have ever taken. This is difficult to decide because many photos meant personal involvement. My Inuit photos to me are most meaningful. They were taken under difficult conditions. I came to know the people. We lived together and shared hardships."
--Richard Harrington, 1998

Richard Harrington (1911-2005) was a renowned Canadian documentary photographer. He traveled to more than 120 countries, and his work has appeared in the Toronto Star, Life, Look, National Geographic, Paris Match, Der Stern and Parade Magazine. Some of his most memorable photographs were captured between 1947 and 1953, when Harrington took five expeditions to the Arctic. His work documents not only the transitioning lifestyles of the locals, as western influences encroached on traditional ways of living, but also a terrible famine that struck the Padleimuit in the Northwest Territories in 1950 -- when the caribou, the main source of food for the Padleimuit, did not follow their usual migration path. The moving photographs from this series document dignity, acceptance and love in the face of starvation.

Richard Harrington: Arctic Photography is a curated selection of some of Harrington's most stirring and compelling photographs from his years in the Arctic. With an introduction by renowned curator and artist Gerald McMaster and a short biography written by Stephen Bulger, the primary representative of Harrington's estate, this collection of masterful photographs is an important and timely re-examination of Harrington's work in the face of a changing climate and renewed Indigenous activism.

About the authors

Gerald McMaster, PhD, is the Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. During his tenure as Curator of Contemporary Indian Art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (1981-2000), he established the first Indian and Inuit gallery at the CMC. In 1992, he curated Indigena for the Canadian Museum of Man and co-authored the book Indigena: Contemporary Native Perspectives in Canadian Art. His publications include Reservation X (1998), Native Universe (2004) and Remix: New Modernities in a Post-Indian World (2007). In 1995, he served as Canadian Commissioner and curated Edward Poitras's exhibition at the Venice Biennale. From 2000 to 2004, he was Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. At NMAI, he curated First American Art (2004) and New Tribe / New York (2005). He was awarded the Order of Canada (2007) and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2005.

Gerald McMaster's profile page

Stephen Bulger is the founder and president of Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. Bulger has curated over 200 exhibitions, been named the representative for numerous Canadian and international photographers, published catalogs and books, and has participated in many North American and European art fairs.

Stephen Bulger's profile page

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