Wallie Funk, born in Anacortes in 1922, loved photographs from his earliest years, but avoided photography classes in journalism school because he vigorously disliked bulky early-day cameras. Everything changed when he got his hands on a Ciro-flex, which shot 2-1/4 by 2-1/4 inch negatives on 12-frame rolls.
Empowered by this flexible camera, he became an avid photojournalist, spending the rest of his life documenting everything and everyone that caught his attention, from the Beatles to neighborhood children at play. He took as many as 50,000 images between 1950 and 1964, when he was editor/co-publisher of the Anacortes American, and he took even more for the Whidbey News-Times and in his retirement years.
Despite all this, his greatest contributions to photographic history may have been his efforts to preserve the work of the photographers who came before him. When he and John Webber bought the Anacortes American in 1950, Funk wrote a front-page editorial asking people to bring their historic old photos to the newspaper for duplication and preservation. Copied by Glenn Davis and American staff members for years, these images eventually became the first collection of the Anacortes Museum. On top of this, in 1952 Funk intercepted a truckload of photographer Ferd Brady’s negatives that were destined for the dump, saving an invaluable collection that spans 30 years of the city’s history.
Iconic Images - The Photos of Wallie Funk
Wallie provided a priceless service to Anacortes, through his photos and preservation work we are blessed to have a great depth of visual knowledge of our town through the years. Wallie's spirit powers the heart of this exhibit on Anacortes photos and history... Wallie however was too well rounded a character to simply exist in our own history. Wallie took stunning photographs from around the country - capturing iconic scenes from mid-century America.