Bert Beaver passes away

Professor Emeritus Albert Preston Beaver died in New Hampshire on 12/18/2012. Bert was born July 11, 1921 in Calgary, Alberta. He graduated from the Provincial Institute of Technology in Calgary in 1946 and the Institute of Design, Chicago in 1948 where he also taught Photography in 1947/48.

 Before coming to RISD Bert worked as a photographer for the Canadian Army during World War II. After the war he worked in the Stills Department of the National Film Board. He was the Chief Photographer for “Weekend Magazine” from 1951-1967. He covered many important world events for the magazine, such as the Suez Canal Crisis and the Hungarian Revolution.  Bert was deeply affected by the social injustices he witnessed and he often fought with the censors. He produced some of the first and best photographs of Inuit sculpture, helping to market them worldwide. Bert’s photographs for Weekend Magazine are now in the collections of the Canadian National Archives in Ottawa.

 In 1967, Bert was hired by Harry Callahan to teach photography at RISD. When Callahan retired, Bert became the head of the Photography Department. He retired holding the rank of  full Professor in 1995. During his RISD years, Bert mounted a number of important exhibitions, the most noteworthy being his photographs of Mexican mummies at mummy museum of Guanajuato, and New England gravestones. Bert also played a role in the technical advancement of photography in the 1980’s, working on a large project for the IBM Corporation devoted to the use of computers in photography. With his colleague LeRoy White, for many years Bert headed an experimental project to bring computer technology to RISD.

 Bert was predeceased by his wife Estelle to whom he was married for more than sixty years. He is survived by his sister Joyce Morrow, his daughters Alisa and Karen, and his sons Mark and David.  The family held a small service in Vancouver, British Columbia but plan to hold a memorial service in Providence, the details of which are to be announced at a later date.

Bert Beaver, Division of Fine Arts, Faculty, Harry Callahan, IBM, obituary

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