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Marti Friedlander

john friedlander, marti friedlander
Martha "Marti" Friedlander CNZM née Gordon, 19 February 1928 – 14 November 2016 was a New Zealand photographer who emigrated from England in 1958 She was known for photographing and documenting the country's people, places and events, and was considered one of the country's best photographers


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
    • 21 Publications
    • 22 Honours and recognition
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Early life

Friedlander was born on 19 February 1928 in the East End of London to Jewish immigrants from Kiev, Russia From the age of three she grew up in a Jewish orphanage in London with her sister Anne She won a scholarship at the age of 14 and attended Camberwell School of Art, where she studied photography From 1946 to 1957 she worked as an assistant to fashion photographers Douglas Glass, an expatriate New Zealander, and Gordon Crocker She married Gerrard Friedlander, a New Zealander of German Jewish origin, in 1957 and emigrated to New Zealand with him in 1958 She became a naturalised New Zealander in 1977


Friedlander's first impressions of New Zealand were of a strange country with different land, people and social customs to her previous experience She felt constrained by what she saw as New Zealand's conservatism compared to the lifestyle she had enjoyed in London, and she began taking photographs to document and understand the country and people around her She was particularly interested in people and social movements, especially protests and activism – one of the first photographs she took in New Zealand was in Auckland in 1960, of people protesting the New Zealand rugby team's tour of South Africa The photograph was later purchased by the BBC and used in a television series on rugby

Initially, the couple lived in Te Atatu South, and Friedlander worked as a dental assistant in her husband's dental practice In 1964 she began working as a freelance photographer, and in 1972 her work became well known through her collaboration with social historian Michael King, photographing Maori women and their traditional moko tattoos Friedlander considered this project the highlight of her career, and in 2010 she donated the series of 47 portraits to the national museum, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Friedlander's photography career lasted over 40 years, during which time she photographed a diverse range of subjects, including famous and ordinary people, and rural and urban landscapes Her work was published in books, magazines and newspapers such as Wine Review, New Zealand Listener and the British Journal of Photography She held exhibitions at a number of galleries, including the Photographers' Gallery in London, the Wynyard Tavern in Auckland 1966 and the Waikato Art Museum 1975 In 2001, a retrospective exhibition of 150 of her photographs from 1957 to 1986 was held at the Auckland Art Gallery, followed by a tour of New Zealand galleries the following year In 2006, Friedlander's work was included in an exhibition of contemporary New Zealand photography for the Festival Internazionale di Roma, which was subsequently also shown at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China


Friedlander's work was featured in the books Moko: Maori Tattooing in the 20th Century 1972 with Michael King; Larks in a Paradise 1974 with James McNeish; Contemporary New Zealand Painters A–M 1980 with Jim and Mary Barr; Pioneers of New Zealand Wine 2002 with Dick Scott; Marti Friedlander: Photographs 2001 with Ron Brownson and Marti Friedlander with Prof Leonard Bell 2009 The book Marti Friedlander: Photographs was shortlisted at the 2001 Montana Book Awards

In 2013 Friedlander published an autobiography, Self-Portrait, written with oral historian Hugo Manson

Honours and recognition

Friedlander was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to photography in the 1999 New Year Honours, and in 2004 she was the subject of a documentary by Shirley Horrocks entitled Marti: the Passionate Eye In 2007 the Arts Foundation of New Zealand launched the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, presented every two years to an experienced photographer In 2011 she received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Award She was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Literature by the University of Auckland in 2016

Personal life

In October 2016, Friedlander revealed that she was suffering from late-stage breast cancer She died at her home in Auckland on 14 November 2016 aged 88


  1. ^ a b c "Photographer Marti Friedlander dies" Radio New Zealand 2016-11-14 Retrieved 2016-11-15 
  2. ^ a b c "Art New Zealand" wwwart-newzealandcom Retrieved 2016-11-15 
  3. ^ a b "New Zealand, naturalisations" Ancestrycom Operations 2010 Retrieved 16 November 2016 subscription required help 
  4. ^ a b Naomi Gryn 21 December 2009 "Marti Friedlander" Jewish Quarterly Retrieved 31 January 2011 
  5. ^ a b Self Portrait by Marti Friedlander, Auckland University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-86940-785-8
  6. ^ a b c d e "Marti Friedlander" The Arts Foundation 2015-09-26 Retrieved 2016-11-15 
  7. ^ a b c d "Marti Friedlander: 'A collector of raw evidence' – New Zealand Listener" New Zealand Listener 2013-10-22 Retrieved 2016-11-15 
  8. ^ "Marti Friedlander receives honorary doctorate | Scoop News" wwwscoopconz Retrieved 2016-11-15 
  9. ^ Michele Hewitson 1 December 2007 "Marti Friedlander, modern woman" Retrieved 31 January 2011 
  10. ^ a b c d Duddong, A, "Marti Friedlander: 'At this time of your life, everything is courage'", stuffconz, 22 October 2016 Retrieved 26 October 2016
  11. ^ "Twelve questions with Marti Friedlander" New Zealand Herald 2012-10-25 ISSN 1170-0777 Retrieved 2016-11-15 
  12. ^ John Daly-Peoples 12 October 2009 "Marti Friedlander, a closely observed photographer" National Business Review Retrieved 31 January 2011 
  13. ^ "Marti Friedlander" Auckland Writers & Readers Festival 2010 – Programme Retrieved 31 January 2011 
  14. ^ "Wonder-land" Eventfinda Retrieved 2016-11-15 
  15. ^ "New Year honours list 1999" Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 31 December 1998 Retrieved 16 November 2016 
  16. ^ "Marti: The Passionate Eye" NZ On Screen Retrieved 31 January 2011 
  17. ^ "Acclaimed New Zealand photographer Marti Friedlander dies" New Zealand Herald 2016-11-14 ISSN 1170-0777 Retrieved 2016-11-13 

External links

  • Marti Friedlander official website
  • Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki: Works by Marti Friedlander
  • 'Wonderland' article and statement
  • Marti Friedlander in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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