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Description found in Archives
Fonds consists of
1. Sam Tata Collection [graphic material]
2. Sam Tata Collection [graphic material]
3. Collection Sam Tata [documents iconographiques]
4. Collection Sam Tata [documents iconographiques]
5. Collection Sam Tata [documents iconographiques]
6. Collection Sam Tata [documents iconographiques]
7. Sam Tata Collection [graphic material]
8. Portraits by and of Sam Tata [graphic material] (2005-00301-8)
Place of creation
7 photographs : silver gelatin portraits ; 20.3 x 25.4 cm.
Language of material
Scope and content
The fonds includes portraits of Montrealers between 1956 and 1976 and views of Paris, France; London, Eng.; Hong Kong; Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai, China; and India. The portraits are of singers, writers, film-makers, artists, and other members of the Canadian arts community including as well as people who are recognized internationally. The portraits include Alanis O'Bomsawin, Michel Tremblay, Hugh Hood, Irving Layton, Norman McLaren, P.K. Page, Françoise Loranger, Robert Charlebois, Stanley Lewis, Gratien Gélinas, Gilles Vigneault, Jean-Louis Roux, Jacques De Tonnancour, Alice Munro, Leonard Cohen, Henri Paul, Vittorio Fiorucci, Jan Menses, Bill Reid, Françoise Dallegret, Charles Gagnon, Father Gaston Petit, Roch Carrier, Roy Kiyooka, Claude Jutra, Jean Desprez, Buster Keaton, Seymour Segal and Zubin Mehta, Montréal (Québec), Edward Steichen, Yousuf Karsh, John Max, Ron Solomon, Gabor Szilasi, Vincent Sharp, Lynne Cohen, Robert Bourdeau, André Kertész, Martine Franck, Robert Frank, Bill Brandt, Arnaud Maggs, Denis Plain, Walter Curtin, David Heath, Michel Harriz, M. White-Stevens, Diana Chang, Armand Vaillancourt, Kenneth Gilbert, Moshe Safdie, Edwin Holgate, Dr. Hans Selye, Trevor Payne and Sam Tata by Derek Oss. Also included are a portrait of Henri Cartier-Bresson, taken in 1948 in Bombay, India, and Brian Brake taken in Hong Kong in 1973. There is also a self-portrait of Tata in the collection taken in Tokyo, Japan, in 1972. There are also scenes from the Royal Visit in 1959; Saint-Jean Baptiste parade, Montreal, 1962; religious ceremonies at Saint-Joseph Oratory, 1963; street scenes on Sainte-Catherine and Sain-Laurent; and views of Montreal window displays in the 1960s.
Conditions of access
from 1 to 7
Creator / Provenance
Biography / Administrative history
Montreal photographer, Sam Tata was born in Shanghai, China of Indian parents in 1911. He began photographing in 1936 and after a start in street photography, he studied portraiture. He later travelled to India where he rediscovered his interests in photographing everyday life. He worked as a photojournalist, mostly generating reportage with frequent contributions to magazines in Bombay. In 1948, influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Tata began using a 35mm camera and developed a more spontaneous style. Some speculate that his close friendship with Henri Cartier-Bresson resulted in Tata's commitment to practicing photojournalism full-time. He returned to Shanghai in 1949 and recorded the events before and after the establishment of Mao Tse Tung's government. He immigrated to Canada in 1956 and worked as a photojournalist, specializing in Canadian cultural life. He contributed to Chatelaine, Maclean's, Star Weekly, Canadian Art, and other such publications.
He is also well known for his portraits of artists.
He has had numerous exhibitions in major North American cities as well as Shanghai and Bombay, and has been the recipient of many awards.
Sam Tata died on 3 July 2005 in Sooke, British Columbia.
Related control no.
1. 1975-150 NPC
2. 1979-143 NPC
3. 1982-088 NPC
4. 1982-089 NPC
5. 1982-090 NPC
6. 1982-250 NPC
7. 1985-112 NPC
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