Photographer made an impact with iconic images, now U of M Press plans to publish his photos in a book
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
by: Alison Mayes
January is a popular month for de-cluttering. But editors at the University of Manitoba Press are hoping to stop Winnipeggers from tossing out tattered photo albums or musty shoeboxes of old black-and-white photos.
They're asking residents to dig through family and organizational archives in hopes of recovering lost images by L.B. Foote, the pre-eminent photographer of early 20th-century Winnipeg.
They'd also be delighted if anyone dug up correspondence with Foote or even receipts for his services, since the textual record of his life is slim.
This fall, the press plans to publish a book of photos by the self-taught, highly skilled Foote, who lived from 1873 to 1957. The adventurous Newfoundlander born Lewis Benjamin arrived here in 1902 and captured thousands of images during a freelance career spanning more than four decades.
Since the Manitoba Archives acquired Foote's personal archive from his family in the early 1970s, his photos have been used in many books, documentaries and museum exhibits.
Foote's rare, compelling images of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike have attained iconic status, particularly his shot of workers rocking a streetcar on Bloody Saturday.
But his day-in, day-out work was commercial photography. He had a downtown studio, but also worked for at least part of his career from his home on Gertrude Avenue.
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