Artist Spotlight: Bruno Engler; Mountain Man Photographer

Bruno Engler (1916-2001) was a legend in the Canadian Rockies.  Not only was Bruno an accomplished photographer, but also ski instructor, mountain guide, movie location scout, seeker of avalanches, snow dancer and master storyteller!

Bruno’s life in the mountains began in the Engadine region of Switzerland in 1915.  By the time he immigrated to Canada in 1939 at age 24, he was already a skilled mountaineer and photographer and by the 1950’s he was well on his way to a life-long career in photography and the movie industry.  Whenever a movie production rolled into the Rockies, Bruno would be finding the best locations, taking publicity shots or filming the toughest scenes in the most inaccessible spots.

Over the years his clients included A-List Hollywood stars Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Stewart and Paul Newman, as well as political luminaries such as Pierre Trudeau and Peter Lougheed.  But Engler’s awe wasn’t in famous people, but for the terrain of the Rockies.  “Never forget,” he once said, “that the mountain is still the master.  Mountains make people look small – very, very small.”

While working on his first Hollywood movie, “The Far Country” in 1953, Engler saved the cast and crew from an avalanche at the Columbia Icefield.  Afterwards Jimmy Stewart encouraged him to go to Hollywood, but Bruno declined the offer.  “I could never leave my mountains.”  Hollywood’s loss was the Rockies gain, and the rest is history.

Bruno Engler’s chief legacy is the hundreds of striking black and white photographs he took of his beloved Rockies.  Through them, the viewer can glimpse a world as serenely beautiful as a misty mountain peak on a summer’s day and as suddenly treacherous as a midwinter avalanche.  Long may they illuminate.” (Brian Bergman, Macleans May 7,2001)

At Reflections West Art, we have a vast selection of Bruno Engler’s exquisite Black and White photos of Western Canada’s stunning Rocky Mountains, made available for rent in your Alberta office space or hospitality location. You can view some of Bruno’s greatest works in our Western Canadian Landscape section of the Gallery. 

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