May 20, 2016
Zenkei Blanche Hartman: A Photo Album


Our memories of Zenkei Blanche Hartman, who died at the age of 90, are deep and numerous. Here we offer a small selection of the vast array of photographs that we have assembled over the years: formal portraits, casual snapshots, and intimate family heirlooms. If you see a photo you recognize, please let us know so we can credit the photographer. If you have a photo that you would like to add to our collection, please leave a comment below.


Wedding day, 1947


Blanche in the mid-Fifties.


With her children Earl, Trudy, and Joe, c. 1956.


Blanche and Lou in 1962.


At Rinso-in, preparing for takuhatsu (traditional monk’s begging round). Sala Steinbach is on the left, Hoitsu Suzuki on the right.


With her student Zenju Earthlyn Manuel in April 2014.


Blanche on the Zen Center float at the Pride Parade.


Blanche and Lou snapped by a street photographer around 1948.


Lou has obviously just cracked a joke.


Lou and Blanche with granddaughter Rebecca at Green Gulch, c. 1987.


Blanche and Lou. Photo by Renshin Bunce.


Blanche and Lou in the courtyard at City Center in 2000. Photo by Shundo David Haye.


On her 85th birthday in 2011. Photo by Shundo David Haye.


Lou and Blanche Hartman on their wedding day.


Zenkei Blanche Hartman.



  1. Todd Stein

    So wonderful to see these images of Blanche (and Lou!) across the years. They were the glue that made City Center such a special place during my six years there. I miss them both dearly but am so thankful to have known them.

  2. Mary Anne Thomas

    I would like to honor Zenkei Blanche Hartman. I stayed at Zen Center about four or five years ago with my mother, who was almost 95 then. Zenkei Blanche Hartman kindly spent some time one afternoon with my mother giving her a one-on-one introduction to Zen and the Dharma. My mother, Mary Elizabeth Thomas, just died on April 24th. When I saw this memorial announcement, I thought of that moment they had together. I thought of how deep that encounter was and how grateful I was for my Mother to have it.

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