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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, September 14, 2015. Hans Monheimus

Hans Monheimus in his photoroom, looking at one of his portraits of Arthur C. Clarke

(Hans in his photoroom, studying one of his photos of Arthur C. Clarke)

 

I made many friends during my journeys to Sri Lanka.  The most treasured of these was with science fiction writer and futurist, Sir Arthur C. Clarke.  Arthur had two expat friends he enjoyed having Sunday brunch with -- former US ambassador, James Spain, and Hans Monheimus, both of whom I got to know quite well.   Ambassador Spain had lived a fascinating life as a diplomat and was also an author.  Hans was born in Holland, but had spent most of his life traveling and living abroad for his employer, Unilever, especially spending a lot of time in Indonesia.  He retired to Sri Lanka and, I'm sad to say, passed away a few years ago.

 

Hans Monheimus in his photoroom.

(Hans' photo room was a delight to explore)

 

I would always visit Hans during each of my trips to Sri Lanka, often several times either at his home, or for dinner and conversation at the Galle Face Hotel where I stayed.  He was an interesting man, a great raconteur, an avid international traveler, and a superb amateur photographer (his work being from the pre-digital era).  Hans organized enlargements of his many travels into gorgeous over-sized albums, each lovingly crafted, which were a delight to look at.  I learned a lot about photography techniques from Hans, especially of the most difficult subject, the human face. 

 

Some of the art in Hans' home

 

Hans loved art and was an avid collector.  The walls of his home were covered floor to ceiling with paintings he'd accumulated throughout his life.  These were also a joy to study and I've no idea where they are today.  I hope the collection has remained intact.

 

Some of the art in Hans' home

 

I'm briefly returning to Sri Lanka next year and I will very much miss my visits with Hans.

 

Some of the paintings Hans created as a young man.

 

 

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Images (5)
  • Hans Monheimus in his photoroom.
  • Hans Monheimus in his photoroom, looking at one of his portraits of Arthur C. Clarke
  • Some of the art in Hans' home
  • Some of the art in Hans' home
  • Some of the paintings Hans created as a young man.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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During our lives we will meet 5 or 6 people who leave us with an impression of just having met a great man.

Sounds like Hans' was one of your handful of heroes.

We try to understand what makes him so outstanding.

Then in our own way we try to copy some of his finest attributes.

And hopefully we are a better person for it.

 

 

 

Last edited by GarryRF
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