Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio

Historic

Rare

Invaluable

Photograph of The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

©Maria Stenzel/National Geographic Society

Tenzin Gyatso,
The Fourteenth
Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, viewed the exhibition, Seven Years in Tibet, 1944-1951, Photographs by Heinrich Harrer, in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on April 23, 1993.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has personally signed a poignant Message included in each Portfolio.

“Wherever I live, I shall feel homesick for Tibet. I often think I can still hear the cries of wild geese and cranes and the beating of their wings as they fly over Lhasa in the clear cold moonlight. My heartfelt wish is that my story may create some understanding for a people whose will to live in peace and freedom has won so little sympathy from an indifferent world.”

– Heinrich Harrer
Seven Years in Tibet

Heinrich Harrer

Heinrich Harrer, noted Austrian explorer and mountaineer, escaped over the Himalaya from a prisoner-of-war camp in British India with Peter Aufschnaiter, to eventually find refuge in the “Forbidden City” of Lhasa, where they lived and worked as a civil servants for the Tibetan government. As confidant and informal tutor to the teenage Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Harrer was afforded access to ceremonies and customs that had been rarely witnessed by Westerners.

In the company of the Tibetan nobility, Heinrich Harrer photographed a virtual family album of their lives and, in so doing, captured the richness and heart of a people: the moments with friends and family who had long accepted the photographer’s eye. The Tibetan’s joy at play, the leisure of the nobility, the splendor of the Buddhist rituals, the windswept plains of the high plateau — Harrer’s photographs document with a mountaineer’s sense of scale and an explorer’s sensitivity to culture.

Harrer left Tibet in advance of the Chinese communist army in March 1951. Harrer’s memoir, Seven Years in Tibet, has been translated into 53 languages, with more than four million copies sold.

Harrer’s body of work spanned more than six decades of exploration on six continents. Harrer received numerous honors, including the Eiger Gold Medal, Golden Humboldt Medal and the Explorers Club Medal, for his many expeditions and explorations, which number more than 600. He wrote 23 books and received credit on more than 40 film productions.

In October 2002, His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented Harrer with the International Campaign for Tibet’s Light of Truth Award to honor Harrer’s humanitarian effort to bring the situation in Tibet to international attention. Heinrich Harrer and the exiled Dalai Lama remained steadfast friends until Harrer’s death on January 7, 2006.

“Witness the contentment that was ours.”

– Tenzin Gyatso
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

Ngari Rinpoche

Heinrich Harrer
Limited Edition Portfolio

The photographs in the Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio are an important documentation of the traditional Tibetan culture prior to the Chinese communist occupation. They depict a Tibet that is no more.

As confidant and informal tutor to the teenage Dalai Lama, Harrer was afforded access to ceremonies and customs that had been rarely witnessed by Westerners. Since Harrer had become a member of the Tibetan government and a trusted friend of the nobility, he was one of the few photographers to document extensively in Lhasa with an insider’s perspective.

Enjoying unique and intimate access, Harrer shot at close range with a 50mm lens. The photographs show an important level of historical, cultural, and personal detail.

Heinrich Harrer’s Portfolio is rare, invaluable, and unique. They are the only photographs from Heinrich Harrer’s archive printed as fine art archival silver gelatin photographs. The edition is limited to fifty plus five Artist’s Proof Portfolios. Each photograph is signed and numbered by Heinrich Harrer; each Portfolio carries a personally signed Message from Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

In addition, three photographs selected from the Portfolio are available for purchase as individual prints (not a set) from a separate edition.

Heinrich-Harrer-Limited-Edition-Portfolio

©John Bigelow Taylor

“Harrer was one of the few people living in Lhasa in the twilight years of Tibetan freedom who was able to photograph people and scenes from all walks of life. These photographs form a valuable record of Tibet as it was, and I am glad that they are being presented in this archival Portfolio so that others may witness the contentment that was ours.”

– Tenzin Gyatso
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

Frequently Asked Questions

HEINRICH HARRER LIMITED EDITION PORTFOLIO

What is included in the Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio?

The Portfolio is the first fine art collection of Heinrich Harrer’s rare photographs. The Portfolio includes:

  • Ten silver gelatin photographs, archivally printed from the original negatives, signed and numbered in pencil on the verso by Heinrich Harrer
  • Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, has personally signed a poignant Message included in each Portfolio
  • Letterpress-printed text featuring an original essay, caption information, and epilogue in three languages—English, Tibetan and German
  • An exquisitely designed, handcrafted presentation case
How many Portfolios are in the edition?

The Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio is an edition of fifty, plus five Artist’s Proof portfolios.

Why is the Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio Historic, Rare, and Invaluable?

The Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio of ten photographs is the only limited edition portfolio produced from Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer’s unique treasury of 3,000 negatives of traditional Tibet, taken between 1948 and 1951. Each silver gelatin archival photograph is signed and numbered by Heinrich Harrer.

The portfolio includes a Message of Endorsement, personally signed by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

In addition, three photographs selected from the Portfolio are available for purchase as individual prints from a separate edition.

Are individual photographs available?

Signed by Heinrich Harrer,  three separate images from the Portfolio are available for purchase as individual photographs (not a set of three). The individual photographs are:


Ngari Rinpoche


The Dalai Lama’s Flight, 1951


The Holy Relics

Signed by Heinrich Harrer, these individual 16 x 20 inch (40.6 x 50.8 cm) photographs are mounted in 20 x 24 inch (50.8 x 61 cm) mats. Each edition is limited to 25 photographs.

Has the Dalai Lama endorsed this project?

Yes. Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, has personally signed a poignant Message included in each Portfolio.

Will the Tibetan people benefit from this Portfolio?

Yes. A donation equivalent to the sale of a Portfolio has been contributed to the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be used for the preservation on Tibetan culture and religion.

What is the price of the Portfolio and the individual photographs?

For the current price of the Portfolio or the individual photographs available for purchase, please contact Portfolio publisher Leslie DiRusso at dirusso@harrerportfolio.com.

How can I obtain more portfolio information?

For more information or to arrange an appointment to view the Portfolio or the individual photographs, please contact the Portfolio publisher Leslie DiRusso at dirusso@harrerportfolio.com.

When and how did Heinrich Harrer take these photographs?

These photographs were taken in Tibet between 1948 and March 1951. The principal camera was a 35mm Leica IIIc with a 50mm Elmar lens, without a light meter. The primary film was a 100-meter roll of 35mm black-and-white motion-picture film left in Lhasa by a 1938 German expedition. Two of the photographs (The Holy Relics and Khampa Warriors) were shot with a medium-format camera (manufacturer unknown) and black-and-white 120 roll film (source unknown). The film was processed by Life magazine in Darjeeling, India, in 1951.

What are Heinrich Harrer's other accomplishments?

Heinrich Harrer’s body of work spanned more than six decades of exploration on six continents. Heinrich Harrer was a world-renowned explorer and mountaineer who became known for his first accent of the North Face of the Eiger as part of an Austrian-German team in 1938. Harrer’s memoir, Seven Years in Tibet, has been translated into 53 languages and has sold more than four million copies. He received numerous honors, including the Eiger Gold Medal, Golden Humboldt Medal, and the Explorers Club Medal for his many expeditions and explorations, which number more than 600. Harrer wrote 23 books and received credit on more than 40 film productions, including Tristar’s feature film, Seven Years in Tibet, featuring Brad Pitt as Heinrich Harrer.

Mementoes of Heinrich Harrer’s adventurous life are on display at the Heinrich Harrer Museum in Hüttenberg, Austria, officially opened by the Dalai Lama in 1992. (www.visitcarinthia.at)

In October 2002, His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented Heinrich Harrer with the International Campaign for Tibet’s Light of Truth Award to honor Harrer’s humanitarian effort to bring the situation in Tibet to international attention.

Is Heinrich Harrer still alive?

Heinrich Harrer died on January 7, 2006. In the Dalai Lama’s message of condolence to Harrer’s widow, Carina, His Holiness expressed deep sadness and gratitude for Harrer’s advocacy on behalf of the Tibetan people:


Archival Preservation

What makes the Portfolio photographs archival?

Great care has been taken to ensure that the photographs in the Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio have been archivally processed. This includes developing and fixing the image and washing and drying the print to obtain maximum stability.

The photographs were split printed from Heinrich Harrer’s original negatives with an Aristo Variable Contrast cold light.

The photographs were printed on Ilford Multigrade IV, 11 x 14 inch (27.9 x 35.6 cm), double-weight fiber paper. All photographs were developed in a classic glycin formula, toned in selenium, treated in two acid-neutralizing baths, and finally washed for two hours in a vertical archival washer. They were air-dried face up on plastic screens without the application of heat.

What are the dimensions of the photographs?

The Portfolio photographs are 11 x 14 inches (27.9 x 35.6 cm) in 4-ply 16 x 20 inch (40.6 x 50.8 cm) mats by Rising Paper Company.

The individual photographs are 16 x 20 inches (40.6 x 50.8 cm) in 20 x 24 inch (50.8 x 61 cm), 4-ply or 8-ply mats.

What are the dimensions of the presentation case?

The clamshell presentation box is 21.5 x 22 x 2 inches (54.6 x 56 x 5 cm) and weighs approximately 25 pounds with the photographs.

How does the presentation case protect the archival photographs?

The presentation and storage case is designed to provide an environment beneficial to the preservation of the archival photographs. The clamshell design allows the top and bottom to lie flat, which gives easy access to the photographs. The photographs are housed in 4-ply 100% rag mats made by Rising Paper Company. All paper elements in the Portfolio are acid-free.

THE PORTFOLIO HAS BEEN ACQUIRED BY RESEARCH LIBRARIES AND PRIVATE COLLECTORS INCLUDING

  • The United States Library of Congress Asian Division
  • Harvard University Fine Arts Library
  • Cornell University Carl A. Kroch Library
  • Columbia University East Asian C. V. Starr Library
  • The American Alpine Club

Chosen for their content and graphic composition, the ten images represent a poignant visual essay of traditional Tibet that resonate with the historical significance of “the twilight years of Tibetan freedom.”

Library of Congress
Harvard Library
Cornell University Library
Columbia University Libraries - CV Starr East Asian Library
American Alpine Club

A Lasting Friendship

Tenzin Gyatzo, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, And Heinrich Harrer, Hüttenberg, Austria, 1992

Transcription of Video

HHDL: As I wrote in the book, now that we are getting older, at this moment, it reminds me of those happy days in a happy country. Heinrich with my elder brother, they really understand the nice times. In some cases, a little bit of mischief. (Laughter)

Interviewer: How did you come to him?

Harrer: Oh, that’s a long story.

HHDL: Oh, yes. First, the Tibetan government employed him. He had a pleasant temperament. He was easy to get along with. So then, first, my elder brother had become close friends so, through that way, eventually, I called him at my place to do something about my generator and movie projector. So, that way, we started to learn English. My stupid teacher, my stupid student! (Laughter.) So, like that!

Harrer: We both learned English together. That’s way we speak so good! (Laughter.)

Interviewer: What is the legacy of the seven years Heinrich Harrer has spent in Tibet?

HHDL: I think while he was in Tibet, one obvious thing is the … (Tibetan.) (Harrer translates Tibetan into German to the interviewer.)

His greatest contribution for Tibet is his book. I think, that book was read by hundred thousands of people in the outside world so that I think was his greatest contribution. So, even today, despite his age…

Harrer: I’m not old! (Laughter.)

HHDL: …he is very much involved. He is very, very active in helping for Tibetan rights, and how you say, Tibetan freedom. This shows, I think, genuine friendship is not changing. Once we know each other, we become friends, then through all life, we remain friends and offer mutual help. For that, I appreciate him.

Harrer: I think, also, when we arrived in Lhasa, we were really, nearly dead. We had blisters. We had no food and we were broken. And, then the Tibetans received us. They showed us their hospitality. And your parents were the very first to ask us. Ngari Rinpoche was born and they invited me to his birthday party of your parents. At moment we were invited in the house of the parents of His Holiness, we were free because no one would have dared to say anything against us since His parents had received us. We were personae non gratae. We suddenly became like Tibetans!

Then the monks picked us up. We were received and we spent seven years there. We were so happy. It was the best time of our lives.

Who would have thought that of all places in the world, we would have to escape again? First, I escape from prison camp, then, I have to escape from Tibet! So, I had to go again.

Now, you had to leave the country, too! I am so fortunate now that I can give a little bit back. The Tibetans have given to me while I was there and I became one of you. It’s not only a duty but it’s a great joy for me to do something now. It’s the Year of Tibet. I think they’ve done a lot and I look forward to be in Vienna when we have another chance to get support for your country and for your people.

Interviewer: Thank you so much!

Inquiries

For information on the
Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio
and the individual photographs, contact:

Leslie DiRusso, Publisher
Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio
dirusso@harrerportfolio.com

Payments may be made by
personal check, bank transfer, or PayPal

 

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