Exhibition on Early Canadian Travel Photography at the National Gallery of Canada


Part of Library and Archives
Canada’s mandate is to make its rich and vast collection
available to the public. And once again
in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada,
we are pleased to announce a new exhibition: For the Record: Early
Canadian Travel Photography. The exhibition explores
nineteenth century photographs with travel and
tourism during that era. For the Record is an exhibition
of nineteenth century photographs that look
at that era’s interest and experience
with travel and tourism. Tourist travel was still
new in Canada at that time and photography was used
as a way to attract visitors, as both promotional
material and as souvenirs. Later on when
personal cameras became cheaper and easier to use,
amateur photographers started taking
their own travel shots. This exhibition shows us
how photography was used in the nineteenth century tourist
industry, and also gives us a glimpse of how those
early travelers saw these places that we now identify
as icons of Canadian scenery. So, popular tourist destinations
in the nineteenth century included buildings
and monuments, like Ottawa’s
parliament buildings and the Citadel at Quebec City. It included cities
like Montreal and Halifax, buildings and railways,
and natural scenery like Banff Alberta,
Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and Hopewell Rocks
in New Brunswick. This exhibition features many
of these places and includes, of course, the ultimate
tourist destination – Niagara Falls, which even
in the 1850s was a busy, bustling scene contrasting busy
commercialism with wild nature. This exhibition features various
types of early photography, such as tintypes,
ambrotypes and albumen prints. It features
the work by both professional and amateur photographers. We’ve also included a
wonderful travel album from 1845 that along with notes and
writing includes photographs that were glued in
and had been collected along the traveller’s route. Visitors to the gallery can also
see a wall of stereographs which were the
nineteenth century’s method for looking at images in 3D. Visitors can see the original
stereos and can also use our modern stereo viewer
to get the full effect. The exhibition is on display at
the National Gallery of Canada from March 6 to August 30, 2015. And remember, you can
also check out the exhibition on the National Gallery
of Canada website, the blog entry and Flicker set on the Library
and Archives Canada website. Richard Provencher for
Library and Archives Canada.

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