Marti Friedlander, with Hugo Manson


‘Seeing unexpected things in the lens is what I was about.’


From a childhood in London’s East End to half a century in New Zealand photographing wine-makers, artists, children and kuia, Marti Friedlander has lived a rich life – one defined by the art of looking. In Self-Portrait, Marti tells her story for the first time. As forthright and revealing in words as in her photographs, she tells of growing up in London orphanages, being Jewish, working in a Kensington photography studio, marrying a New Zealander and moving across the world to a challenging new country. Here she began to photograph the ordinary and the extraordinary, protests and politicians, balloons and beaches – capturing on film the transformation of New Zealand life over more than fifty years. This book is a rich meditation on one woman’s photographic journey through the twentieth century.


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Marti Friedlander (born 1928) is New Zealand’s leading photographer. Since immigrating to New Zealand in 1958, she has worked throughout New Zealand, the Pacific, England and Israel. Her work features in books including Moko: The Art of Maori Tattooing (with Michael King, 1972), Larks in a Paradise: New Zealand Portraits (with James McNeish, 1974) and Contemporary New Zealand Painters: Volume One, A–M (with Jim and Mary Barr, 1980). Marti’s photography was the subject of a retrospective at Auckland Art Gallery in 2001, which subsequently toured the country. Her work is the subject of a number of books including Marti Friedlander by Leonard Bell (2009), shortlisted for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and the documentary by Shirley Horrocks Marti: The Passionate Eye. She became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1998.

Dr Hugo Manson is a senior New Zealand oral historian. He was co-founder, with Judith Fyfe, of the New Zealand Oral History Archive (now the Oral History Centre at the Alexander Turnbull Library) and has specialised in recording contemporary oral history in many parts of the world.


October 2013, 240 x 190 mm, 264 pages, illustrations
Hardback, ISBN 978 1 86940 784 1, $59.99