An amateur photograph, Harold Frederick Kells (1904-1986) gained international prominence in the mid-1930s for his composite figure studies and pictorial landscapes. In the late nineteen twenties he became interested in photography and in 1931 his print Design was exhibited at the Toronto Salon of Photography. Kells was awarded prizes at salons in England, the United States, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Spain as well as awards for competitions sponsored by American Photography and Camera Craft.
A member of the executive of the Camera Club of Ottawa during the thirties, Kells was instrumental in organizing the first Canadian International Salon of Photographic Art. In 1938, Kells was awarded the Stephen Tyng Foundation Award by the Royal Photographic Society for his print Grecian Nocturne. Kells’ work was not confined to photography, many of his oil paintings were used as vignettes for bank notes, stocks and bonds by the Canadian, British, and American Bank Note Companies. Kells turned to colour photography in the mid-1960s which he pursued until ill-health forced his to curtail his activities.
Text from “National Gallery of Canada”