I put together my first gallery show this past January for Fine & Dandy a small window gallery at 2017 Dundas St. W.. The show was made up of my grandfather’s kodochrome slides that I scanned in digitally and retouched and printed large scale and hung alongside artifacts of his various arctic and mountaineering expeditions.
Meine grossvater (German for ‘my grandfather’), Fritz Müller climbed Everest!
He was part of the 1956 Swiss Everest/Lhotse (4th tallest mountain in the world) Expedition, they were the second team EVER to reach the summit of Everest (preceded by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.) My grandfather was a geographer and glaciologist. His primary objective on the expedition was the scientific glaciological investigations of the Khumbu glacier, located in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal between Mount Everest and the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. With elevations of 4,900 m at its terminus to 7,600 m at its source, it is the world’s highest glacier.
Fritz and his colleagues were also some of the first to explore and study the vast and beautiful Canadian arctic. My grandfather earned his PHD from McGill University where he focussed his study on Axel Heiberg Island Arctic Research Station in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of what is now Nunavut. After attaining his PHD he continued to study in the Canada where he and his family, my gran, Barbara, my mum, and my aunt, lived, as well as the glaciers in his home country of Switzerland where the family later moved in the early 70s.
In 1980, my grandfather, Fritz Müller died due to a heart attack during a field excursion for journalists on the Rhône Glacier in Switzerland. At the time my mum was in her early 20s and it was still 6 years till I would be born.
Although I have never met him, I have a strong image of my grandfather pieced together through the stories I’ve heard. Recently I’ve been scanning and printing the kodachrome slides of his adventures and excursions to help me discover more of the man he was and share their beauty.