New exhibit explores the legacy of an influential Montreal photographer
A rock that rocks in Winnipeg. Hollywood’s Canuck connection. Celebrating Montreal’s groundbreaking photographer William Notman.
He turned a lens on our nation and documented the growth of our country. Along the way, he broke new ground in terms of technical innovation and inspired new generations of photographers with his unique vision.
William Notman is a towering figure in Canadian photography. From 1860 to 1900, he took thousands of images, often using pioneering darkroom techniques to create beautiful and compelling composite images. He was also an astute businessman and opened at least twenty-six franchised studios in Canada and the United States.
Now the Notman legacy is the subject of a major exhibit that is tied to celebrations surrounding the upcoming 375th anniversary of the founding of Montreal and the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
Notman, A Visionary Photographer is presented by the McCord Museum in Montreal and features three hundred images and objects from the museum’s extensive Notman collection.
While Notman regularly photographed the elite of early Canada — such as politicians and their families and other prominent citizens — he also shot slice-of-life photos and stunning landscapes and portraits that offer a unique vision of life in ninteenth-century Canada. And he made great advances in composite photography, merging many different images into one larger photograph.
The exhibit launched in November 2016 and runs at the McCord until March 26, 2017, before travelling to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, and then to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. Clockwise from top left: Stormy day, Saint Catherine Street, Montreal, 1901; Annie McDougall in Notman’s studio, Montreal, 1888; View of Ottawa from Rideau Falls, Ontario, 1869; Kahnawà:ke lacrosse team, 1876; Percé, Quebec, about 1901; William Notman, 1875, A bridge on the Canadian Pacific Railway, British Columbia, 1889; A. H. Buxton, Montreal, 1887.