Collecting Canada: Selections from John Hartman's Photography Collection

Attributed to Alexander Henderson, "Niagara No. 2 American Fall", ca. 1885, albumen print, 21.6 x 27 cm. Courtesy of John Hartman
July 6, 2017 - October 22, 2017

Collecting Canada: Selections from John Hartman’s Photography Collection
July 6 to October 22, 2017
Molson Community Gallery
Curator: Emily McKibbon
Reception: Thursday, July 6, 7 to 9 pm
Art for Lunch: Collecting Photography with John Hartman: September 29, 12:15 to 1 pm. Admission free
Art for Lunch: Frances Rooney on the Wandering Life of Edith Watson: October 13, 12:15 to 1 pm. Admission free

Collecting Canada presents historic photographs from the collection of senior regional artist John Hartman. Hartman’s collection comprises over 500 vintage prints documenting the landscape of Canada during a period of rapid westward expansion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Important collectors of photography have often worked from published accounts of photography’s origins to build a cohesive collection. However, a comprehensive history of Canadian photography has yet to be written. As a result, there isn’t an agreed-upon set of photographs to collect for those interested in this subject. There are giants of Canadian photography: William Notman (Canadian, b. Scotland, 1826-1891) and Alexander Henderson (Canadian, b. Scotland, 1831-1913) are two that are included in this exhibition. Collecting Canada also includes other less well-known photographers of the Canadian landscape, including Edith Watson (American, 1861-1943), Charles Macmunn (Canadian, active ca. 1883-1900) and Jules Ernest Livernois (Canadian, 1851-1933). This intimate presentation demonstrates the vitality of the Canadian photographic scene in the years immediately following Confederation and highlights the important work yet to be done in capturing this history.

For the exhibition essay, see the attached document below.