This online exhibit is a digital version of an exhibit held at the University of Victoria Library, Special Collections & Archives, which was the first time Gisèle Freund's James Joyce photographs had been shown in Canada. Special Collections houses Freund's personal and public material relating to the book, James Joyce in Paris: His Final Years. It is curated by Dr. J. Matthew Huculak and Kathy Bohlman, MAS. The exhibit is a collaborative effort among the Department of English, the Library, and Archives in order to share our resources with our community.
Freund captured the most intimate photographs of Joyce ever taken: they are an important, rare, visual record of Joyce's family life. In her essay, "On Photographing Joyce," Freund writes, "Of all the writers that I have photographed, Joyce had the reputation of being the most difficult and uncooperative, a man who loathed being photographed and mistrusted anyone who invaded his privacy in any way. The fact that I was able to build up the most complete set of photographs ever made of him, including the only portraits in color, can only be explained by a series of fortuitous circumstances, verging, it now seems to me, onto the miraculous."
The Freund fonds at the University of Victoria Libraries are a record of that "miraculous" week in May 1938, when Freund framed fleeting moments from Joyce's life in Paris, France. The fonds include personal notes, papers, letters, drafts, and photographs, which the library acquired in 1967.
We hope you enjoy the spontaneous magic of Gisèle Freund’s photographic sensibility. To enter the exhibit, click on the image below...