Matt Isenburg – November 14, 2016

Matt Isenburg by Robert Lansdale, September 2005

Toronto. Bob Lansdale got word of the passing of Matt Isenburg on December 15th. It was confirmed by Elizabeth Isenburg that Matt passed away last month,  November 14th.

I first heard of Matt when the PHSC sold me a copy of his book Photographica at their December 1979 meeting. The book was written by Charles Klamkin with Matthew Isenberg – Matt’s contribution was the photographs he took of cameras in his collection (years later Matt clarified that he preferred the spelling Isenburg for his name, which spelling remained with him the rest of his life).

I first met Matt at our April 2000 meeting when he spoke on  The Evolution of the Camera  using slides and photographs he made personally, including many colour versions of the halftones illustrating Photographica. 

Matt returned to the PHSC a second time, along with Elizabeth. He spoke at our September 2005 meeting on the topic Ramblings and Recollections. He credited Elizabeth with the patience to dig deep into eBay, thereby discovering a very old photographer’s outdoor sign.

Matt was prominent in the Daguerreian Society, including  holding the office of President for many years. He had to drop out of activities in recent years due to ill health. While still active, Matt sold his huge collection to the Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC) here in Toronto. The collection has since been transferred to the Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Bob Lansdale, our journal editor, was the official photographer of the Daguerreian Society until quite recently.

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