Vancouver: Uno Langmann Donates 18,000 photos to the University of British of Columbia
Uno Langmann is an internationally renowned art dealer. He emigrated to Vancouver from Denmark in 1955 to flee the Cold War and opened his first gallery in 1967. He quickly became interested in the history of his adopted country, in particular the Northwest Territories on the Pacific Coast. He began collecting old photos at auctions and flea markets. From famous photographers to unknown ones, over the years Langmann gathered the largest private collection of photographs of Canada’s western province.
Now Uno and Dianne Langmann have donated to the University of British Columbia (UBC) library nearly 18,000 photographs retracing a part of British Columbia’s history from 1850 to 1970. The acquisition features the work of pioneers like Richard Maynard, Frederick Dally (who took many portraits of members of the First Nations) and Charles Gentile, whose work we find in many Canadian archives. It also boasts a print of a famous photograph entitled “Wait For Me Daddy,” shot on October 1st, 1940, as soldiers from the British Columbia regiment march through the streets of New Westminster as they prepare to join troops deployed abroad. This photograph, taken by Claude P. Detloff of the Vancouver Daily Province, was elected “Picture of the Week” by Life Magazine.
With an estimated worth of 1.2 million dollars, this rarely seen collection is a priceless piece of this Canadian province’s heritage. The first to benefit from it will be students interested in printing methods using albumen, silver nitrate and stereoscopy. The UBC plans to quickly digitize the new collection for a traveling exhibition and to make it accessible to the public.