Walter Curtin

Walter Curtin, photojournalist (b at Vienna, Austria 16 Aug 1911; d at Toronto 21 Oct 2007). One of the most prominent photojournalists and commercial photographers in Canada during the 1950s and 60s, Walter Curtin published his photo essays in the country's most prominent magazines of the time.

Curtin, Walter

Walter Curtin, photojournalist (b at Vienna, Austria 16 Aug 1911; d at Toronto 21 Oct 2007). One of the most prominent photojournalists and commercial photographers in Canada during the 1950s and 60s, Walter Curtin published his photo essays in the country's most prominent magazines of the time.

Born Walter Spiegel in Vienna, he emigrated to London, England, following Hitler's "Anschluss" of Austria. His mother would die in a concentration camp a few years later. After serving in the British army during World War II, he changed his name to the more anglicized Curtin. In 1946, he became a professional photographer in London and worked on a freelance basis for Time-Life publications among other clients. In 1952, Curtin emigrated to Canada, where he continued to work extensively as a photojournalist and commercial photographer from a home base in Toronto. His black and white photographs have been featured in Time, Life, Maclean's, Châtelaine, Saturday Night, Fortune, Star Weekly, Liberty and numerous other magazines. Curtin was also closely associated with the NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA's Still Photography Division, for which he produced numerous photo-stories in the 1950s and 60s.

In the 1960s, Walter Curtin spent several years working in London, England, returning to Toronto in 1967. During the 1970s, he began an extensive project documenting Canada's classical music scene, and many of these photographs were published in Music Canada. In 1982, selections from this body of work were featured in a National Film Board exhibition entitled "The Musicians." This work was also featured in the 1995 publication Curtin Call: Walter Curtin, A Photographer's Candid View of Twenty-Five Years of Music in Canada. In 1985 the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography and the National Photography Collection of the NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA mounted a retrospective of Curtin's photographic career. Curtin was named a member of the ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY and was the recipient of numerous honours including the Max Sauer Memorial Award.