Felix H. Man collection [graphic material]
Record Information – Brief
Record Information – Details
- Collection includes:
760 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Place of creation:
602 photographs : b&w negatives.
184 photographs : b&w prints.
- Language of material:
- Added language of material:
- English, Italian
- Scope and content:
Collection consists of Felix H. Man's portrayal of Canada during a 7 month journey across the country in 1933 for the German Magazine Berliner Illustrierte. The German photographer travelled by train, boat and plane to explore the places he felt the German public would want to see, concentrating on visual themes which would confirm a vision of Canada as a vast northern country of wilderness, reliant on and connected to its natural resources and farming, and policed by the RCMP. The project was part of a larger trip around the world, which was never completed. Man was recalled to Germany in 1934. Man originally organized the trip to escape the political situation in Germany in the early 1930s, and on his return to Berlin found the new political expectations of the press intolerable and emigrated to England later in 1934. Man is considered a pioneer of photojournalism, but also used photo montage to achieve his narrative ends. Subjects include: a Laurentian Boy's Camp; flying in small plane in the Northwest Territories; prospectors and mining around Great Bear Lake including the nearby Hudson's Bay Post; travelling by boat on Mackenzie River; winter in Churchill Harbour and Hudson's Bay area including trapping; the wheat industry in Manitoba and Saskatchewan showing harvesting and the Winnipeg Grain Exchange; views of Banff and Jasper including Banff Indian Days; views of Vancouver, and nearby Hudson's Bay Trading Post, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Regina; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the NWT and Saskatchewan; the Forest Fire Service in Manitoba; travelling on the Canadian Pacific Railway transcontinental train; unemployed men in Winnipeg, aboriginal people around Prince Rupert, B.C. area; photo of Man in north. Photographs by Felix H. Man.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Man, Felix H., 1893-1985 : Photographer. Felix H. Man was born Hans Felix Sigismund Baumann in Freiburg, Germany on November 30, 1893, but assumed the pseudonym of Felix H. Man for his professional photographic career. He studied fine art and art history at the University of Berlin, 1912-14, and was an authority on lithography. Man took his first photographs in 1904, and his first documentary reportage photos in the trenches on the Western Front in 1915. In the 1920s, he gave up drawing and concentrated on photography, adopting his professional name in 1929. After the war, he moved to Berlin, where he worked for the agency Ullstein in 1926, originally as an artist. He met Stefan Lorant, then editor of Münchner Illustrierte Presse, and began his work as a photojournalist for Lorant ca. 1928. Man is considered one of the founders of this form of photography and of the related reportage. Between 1929 and 1934, he worked for the Münchner Illustrierte Presse and the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, for which he travelled Europe and North Africa and spent seven months in Canada. Man was determined to leave Germany with the advent of Nazism, and convinced the magazine Berliner Illustrierte to send him abroad as a correspondent. In June of 1933, Man arrived in Canada, and spent the next seven months travelling across Canada, including a trip into the Northwest Territories. He travelled by train, boat and plane to complete his assignment of documenting Canada as seen by a European: a largely uncivilized place of vast wilderness. He was recalled to Germany before his world tour was complete (travelling also to Finland, Sweden, North Africa and the United States between 1932 and 1934) but could not tailor his work to the political authority of the time, and emigrated to England in May 1934. In England, he teamed again with Stefan Lorant, and they founded the Weekly Illustrated, and then in 1938, Picture Post. He continued to work for Picture Post from 1938 to 1945 and then from 1948 to 1950/51. Following his departure from this magazine, he worked freelance for Life, Sports Illustrated, and the Sunday Times, amongst other assignments. While working in the genre of reportage, Man was not averse to manipulation of his images to achieve a specific goal: certain photographs produced from his Canadian journey were created through montage to produce a more effective image. He died in January of 1985. The National Archives acquired in 1985, Felix H. Man's 602 negatives of his travels across Canada in 1933.
- Finding aid:
(Paper) Additional caption information on xerox and envelopes located in 326 with a copy in Photo A&R. FA-189 (99: Closed pending processing)
- Additional information:
- Custodial history:
- The photographs were acquired by the National Archives directly from the wife of Felix H. Man, Mrs. Liselott Man.
- Arrangement note:
- Indexed in subject order.
- Language note:
- Most captions are in English, occasional notes in Italian.
- Subject heading:
Ordering and Viewing Options
- Conditions of access:
Credit: Felix H. Man / Library and Archives Canada / E-copy #
- Date modified: