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Canadian Photography Institute Receives Gift of 635 Works by Paul Strand

The Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Art in Ottawa, Ontario, received a major gift of 635 photographs by American photographer and filmmaker Paul Strand. Three Canadians donated the works, which span the artist’s career, anonymously.

“Paul Strand was one of the twentieth century’s outstanding photographers, mastering a repertoire of styles from Pictorialism to abstraction and documentary,” said Ann Thomas, senior curator of photographs. “He was an extremely exacting printmaker, testing out different printing methods, papers, and coatings. He brought together qualities of fine craftsmanship with a deep connection to content, which involved the natural world, simple everyday objects, and where and how people lived out their lives in a diverse range of countries and cultures.”

Born in New York City in 1890, Strand apprenticed with American documentary photographer Lewis Hine while at the Ethical Culture School in New York, from 1907 to 1909. After exploring modernism, and attempting to be a commercial photographer in 1912, he traveled across the United States, Mexico, Egypt, and Romania. Ultimately, he moved to Orgeval, France, where he died in 1976.