Last year there was a symposium at SFU about the cultural impact of Curt Lang’s work and his name is one I come across often when perusing the Vancouver Public Library and City of Vancouver Archives. Lang was much more than a photographer and the symposium focused on a book by Claudia Cornwall titled: At the World’s Edge: Curt Lang’s Vancouver.
Curt was a beatnik poet, painter, photographer, beachcomber, boat builder, fisherman, and software entrepreneur. He was born in Vancouver in 1937 and died there in 1998. He and Freddy Douglas were known as the two hippest guys in Vancouver during the late fifties and sixties. This book is my portrayal of Curt and the wild and crazy scene that swirled around him. [Claudia Cornwall]
“In many ways he was very multi-sided in terms of his personality and his effect on people and also of course he was multi-sided in the many things that he did. He was a poet who published poetry when he was 15, 16 years old, he painted and exhibited his paintings in the Vancouver Art Gallery. He took many photographs of Vancouver and those are in the Vancouver library and he started a book store which is still going today.” [Claudia Cornwall for North Shore News]
Along with Fred Douglas, Curt Lang (1937-1998) established the Leonard Frank Memorial Society of Documentary Photographers (named after the early BC photographer). Lang took thousands of pictures of everyday Vancouver and in an interview with Aileen Campbell of The Province in 1972 he said, “When I shoot, I feel I’m shooting for an audience thirty-five years from now.”