University of Wisconsin

Pursuing his passion for nature, Hugo is going to study Wildlife Management at the University of Wisconsin. Student life takes some getting used to. After the excitement and dangers he has endured from his escape from occupied territory, he finds it difficult to form himself into the order and regularity of the college benches. Hugo is not a model student. Stubborn as he is, Hugo Wilmar experiences difficulty with the theoretical subjects. The practicals, outdoors in nature, suit him better.

Meanwhile, I am doing extremely well although the courses are only so-so. Due to lack of time, I had to drop botany and I still don’t finish half of it and the work piles up in legendary proportions. The bad thing is that everything here is screamingly expensive and I have to spend more than half my time to earn a living. In addition, I can’t exactly say that Joe Hickey and Bob McCabe (the 2nd professor) go out of their way to make things as easy as possible for me; on the contrary, I haven’t experienced any sign of interest on their part.”

– Quote Letter Hugo Wilmar, 29 november 1951

As a side job, Hugo works as a photographer at the University News Service. He also finds a job with the Wisconsin Conservation Department. For them, he updates the shooting figures of water wildlife during the hunting season. With some regularity, he sells self-written articles and photo reports to Dutch and American magazines. Through his old employer, Uitgeverij de Spaarnestad, he still does a few jobs on a freelance basis.

Zelfportret Hugo Wilmar met draadontspanner
Self-portrait Hugo Wilmar with wiretap, Newfoundland 1952

Counting Moose

In the summer of 1952, Hugo Wilmar is given the study assignment to record the migratory behaviour of moose in Newfoundland. In the silence of the inhospitable landscape, Hugo has the space for the first time in his adult life to reflect on both the years behind and his future. Hugo (finally) comes to rest. He uses the time in seclusion to photograph himself using the natural environment and a wire release. The period of reflection and seclusion marks a turning point in Hugo Wilmar’s life.

Outdoor Life

Hugo likes the outdoors as never before. Contact with his professors improves. During a hunting trip, Joseph Hickey and hugo, along with Robert Ellarson (Both working at the Univeristy of Wisconsin) rescue a trapped beaver. Hugo writes an article for Outdoor Life about the incident. The text and photos are posted in September 1952.

Mary and Hugh

Hugo changes his name to Hugh because it is easier to pronounce in English. With his inner peace regained, doors now seem to open for him. He gains more pleasure in his studies and gets along better with his professors. On the university campus, he meets his future wife, Mary Price.

Hugh got on particularly well with Robert McCabe. McCabe introduced Hugo Wilmar to Tom McHugh. McHughwas one of the photographers and cameramen at Disney. Hugo Wilmar thus got a job at the Walt Disney Company in 1953.

Frits Rudolf Ruys Boys’ Camp

In the summer of 1953, Hugo Wilmar returns briefly to the Netherlands to visit his family. In August, he makes a film of the Frits Rudolf Ruys Boys’ Camps. These camps were set up after the war by Jan Woldijk for the sons of deceased resistance fighters from the war. Hugo is making the film in return for the help Jan Woldijk offered him in his escape from occupied territory. Hugo writes the script, stages, films and edits the 12-minute film before returning to the University of Wisconsin.

From the Netherlands, Hugo Wilmar completes his application to the Disney family. Disney is looking for a wildlife filmmaker and photographer. With help from Bob McCabe, the University of Wisconsin, and photographs from Hugo’s Savannah period, he is hired. In 1954, Hugo definitively returns to America.



Wildlife Management

In 1951 gaat Hugo Wilmar Wildlife Management studeren aan de University of Wisconsin.

University News Service

In het eerste semester van 1951 werkt Hugo Wilmar voor de University News Service. Hij maakt portretten van de "big shots" die aan de universiteit van Wisconsin werken. Ook werkt hij voor de Wisconsin Conservation Department. Voor hen werkt hij de afschotcijfers van waterwild tijdens het jachtseizoen uit. Zijn studie

Elanden Tellen
Zelfportret in Kano in de buurt van Cormac, Newfoundland, Canada

In de zomer van 1952 spendeert Hugo Wilmar enkele maanden in Cormack, Newfoundland, Canada. Voor de Universiteit moet hij het migratiegedrag van Elanden in kaart brengen. Hij gebruikt de tijd ook om tot zichzelf te komen, en de hectiek van de afgelopen jaren te verwerken.

Film FRR Jongenskamp
Film FRR Jongenskamp 1953 in Remmerstein, Rhenen

In augustus 1953 maakt Hugo Wilmar een film van de Frits Rudolf Ruys jongenskampen in Remmerstein Rhenen. Dit is een wederdienst aan zijn vriend Jan Woldijk, die hem in 1944 op weg heeft geholpen naar Engeland

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