Harold F. Kells fonds [graphic material]

  • Record Information – Brief
    Hierarchical level:
    Type of material:
    Found in:
    Archives / Collections and Fonds
    Item ID number:
    Link to this page:
    This link identifies the web page describing this particular record. Unlike the temporary link in your browser, this link will allow you to access, and reference, this page in the future.
    To link to this descriptive record, copy and paste the URL where ever needed (wiki, blog, document).
    Context of this record:
    • Harold F. Kells fonds
      Harold F. Kells fonds
  • Fonds includes:
    13 lower level description(s)
    View lower level description(s)
    Place of creation:
    23 photographs: prints, b&w and col.
    Language of material:
    Scope and content:
    Fonds consists of photographic prints created by Harold F. Kells, including "Sun's Eclipse", 1932; "A Modern Venus", 1933; "Andromeda", 1933; "The Swing", 1933; "Maid of Athens", 1934; "After the Rain", n.d.; "Grecian Bather", n.d.; "Edmunds Lock", 1963. Salon photographs by Kells include "The Blizzard", ca. 1930; "Enchanting Mantle", ca. 1931; "Huntress", 1933; "Elemental", ca. 1934; "Hallowe'en Still Life", 1935. Fonds also includes "The Band Wagon": a circus parade in Ottawa, Ont., 1907. Photo by Frederick A. Knauff.
    Additional name(s):
    Biography/Administrative history:
    Kells, Harold F., 1904-1986: Harold Frederick Kells was born in Ottawa on October 2, 1904. An artist-turned-photographer, he achieved international prominence during the mid-1930¿s for his composite figure studies and pictorial landscapes. Kells joined the Ottawa Art Club in his early teens, and studied modelling, casting, life drawing and painting. He then worked as a commercial artist, continuing his art studies all the while. In the late twenties, Kells became mildly interested in a camera that a friend had purchased ¿ a roll-film, postcard-size Kodak. He borrowed it and tried a self-portrait, and, he admits ¿was bitten by the photography bug¿. His first salon submissions were not accepted, but Kells persisted, and in 1931 a bromoil entitled Design was hung at the Toronto Salon of Photography. In 1932 Kells began to exhibit in earnest. His salon output was never prodigious, but he quickly achieved international acclaim. Kells¿¿ prints won prizes at salons in England, The United States, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Spain, as well as awards from annual and monthly competitions of ¿American Photography¿ and ¿Camera Craft¿. Kells served on the executive of The Camera Club of Ottawa during the thirties and was instrumental in organizing the first Canadian International Salon of Photographic Art. He was also a member of the jury of selection of the first Western Ontario Salon of Photography in 1936. But after 1935 his salon and print acceptances fell off dramatically. His prints continued to appear, but his pictorialist efforts declined. In 1938, Kells was awarded the Stephen H. Tyng Foundation Award of the Royal Photographic Society for his print ¿Grecian Nocturne¿, first shown three years earlier. Between 1933 and 1938, Kells had operated a studio, first as a portrait photographer for Photographic Stores of Ottawa, then on his own. But his work was not confined to photography; many of his oil paintings were used as design for vignettes on bank notes, stocks and bonds by the British American and Canadian Bank Note Companies. Business slumped as war threatened, and Kells took a temporary position with the Public Relations Branch of the Post Office. With the declaration of war, Kells was asked to travel with the ¿March of Time¿ movie unit to do a series of promotional photographs of Canada¿s war effort. Kells then returned to the Post Office where he remained until his retirement in 1966. At the same time, he turned to colour photography whir he pursued for the next decade until ill-health forced him to curtail his activities. Harold F. Kells passed away on August 20, 1986.
    Related control no.:
    1983-012 NPC
    1996-219 DAP
  • Conditions of access:
    Terms of use:
    Copyright [for Harold F. Kells material] : Expired Copyright [for Frederick A. Knauff material] : Unknown
    Credit: Harold F. Kells / Library and Archives Canada / [ecopy number]

    You can order materials in advance to be ready for you when you visit. You will need a user card to do this.

    Cannot visit us on site? You can purchase a copy to be sent to you. Some restrictions may apply.


Date modified: