First of all I would like to thank Hal Gould for his incredible support of my work, especially in times when I really needed it. He was a great man and many of us have truly lovely memories of him.
I remember going into Hal's photography gallery for just about as long as I have memories. It was one of the first all photography galleries in the world and some have even said that he had the very first photography gallery in history, but I can't say whether or not that is true. What I do know is that Hal was a wonderful person and passionate photographer and gallery curator. He gave Sabastiao Salgado his very first solo exhibition in the USA at his gallery, and I am proud to say that Hal also gave me my very first solo exhibition in the USA.
There are lots of legends about Hal and I believe that most, if not all of them are true. Here are some of my favorites:
Hal bought his first camera in 1932 at the age of 12 with money that he earned selling Liberty Magazines.
He opened his first gallery in 1955
In the late 1950's Hal rented a pharmacy on the seedy Colfax Street in Denver, Colorado where he showed photos by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston that were priced around $15. He did not sell a single print during the show and now some of these prints are auctioning for over one million dollars each.
Hal had a date with famous actress Judy Garland but he said it did not go well and there was no second date.
He had many jobs including railroad tie repairman, boxer and aviator.
Because the curator of the Denver Art Museum refused to show photography or acknowledge it as an art form, Hal founded the Camera Obscura gallery across the street from the museum (both to fill that gap but also, as I like to believe, out of spite :)
Here are a couple of photos I dug up of Hal and I from probably a decade ago...
This is a short video of Hal at work in his darkroom.