Living and working as an artist in Newfoundland, it's difficult not to be affected by the impact of the sea on both the culture and the natural landscape: you come face to face with it every day. ...It gets into your art, whether directly or indirectly. Travel any road on this island, and at the end of it there will be a distinct community, a wharf, and a people who have been formed by the sea.Excerpt from artist statement in Merchants, Mariners and the Northern Seas exhibition publication, organized by Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery, 1999.
Manfred Buchheit was born in Alsace, France, in 1943. Buchheit and his family arrived in Canada in 1950, settling in Ontario where he attended Ontario College of Art and began a career as a medical graphic artist.
In 1971, after three years in Detroit, Michigan, Buchheit moved to St. John's, Newfoundland where he began working as a professional photographer. During this time he also held an assortment of jobs including silk-screen stencil cutter, floating offset press operator, and bartender.
In 1977, Buchheit was awarded a Canada Council Arts Grant as an Artist-in-the-Community. He also taught art and photography with Memorial University Extension Service. In the early 1980s, his photography began receiving recognition, winning first prize in the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition in 1984
Buchheit is best known for photographic images created from his experiments with the simply-constructed pinhole camera. Over the last decade, Buchheit's imagery has undergone several major thematic changes. His initial focus on urban settings, largely the streets of historic downtown St. John's, shifted to rural settings when Buchheit moved to Holyrood, Conception Bay.
In 1996, the same year the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador organized a 25-year retrospective of his work, Buchheit received a grant from the Year of the Arts '97–Cabot Quincentenary Committee to develop his Homage to Holloway series. In this series he printed glass plate negatives of images photographed by Robert Holloway, a British educator and scientist who taught in Newfoundland for many years. Buchheit also photographed the sites as they now appear, almost 100 years later, and presented both his and Holloway's photographs together in a single frame
In addition to being part of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador's Permanent Collection, his art work is part of private and public collections including that of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Fishery Products International, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland Teachers Association. Buchheit is presently self-employed specializing in photographic services for the reproduction and preservation of historical photography.