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Photographer Marti Friedlander dies

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/11/2016

Esteemed New Zealand photographer Marti Friedlander has died at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer.

Over five decades, Friedlander's candid photos of kuia, farmers, children and politicians became iconic images of New Zealand's 20th-century identity.

Born Martha Gordon in London's East End in 1928, Friedlander spent her childhood in a Jewish orphanage before emigrating to New Zealand in 1958 after marrying Gerrard Friedlander, a Kiwi on his OE.

Using her camera to make sense of a strange new home, Friedlander came to take some of the most striking photographs of the country's post-war culture.

She rose to prominence with her work in historian Michael King's 1972 book Moko, for which she took photos of elderly Maori women from a generation perceived as the last to wear the facial tattoos.

"She has left us a great gift in her legacy of photographs, and her legacy of inspiring New Zealanders to see and appreciate themselves and their place in the world." University of Auckland's public orator Professor Paul Rishworth said when Friedlander was awarded an honorary doctorate from the school last month.

In 1998 Friedlander was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to photography.

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