The bedrock of the Canadian Photography Institute is an immense and comprehensive collection of photography, founded on two major collections. These form an unprecedented selection of photographic materials, representing the entire evolution of the medium throughout the world in varied genres.
Widely respected, the National Gallery of Canada’s collection encompasses over 50,000 photographs and 146,000 negatives, including works by some of photography’s key practitioners: William Henry Fox Talbot, Charles Nègre, P. H. Emerson, Hill and Adamson, Frederick H. Evans, Josef Sudek, Walker Evans, Lisette Model, Leon Levinstein, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Lynne Cohen, Arnaud Maggs, Mark Ruwedel and Edward Burtynsky.
It also features a small but fine collection of European and American daguerreotypes, rare 19th-century war photographs, and, from the former Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, an important selection of Canadian photography from 1964 to 2008. This is complemented by the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives collection of documentation on photography, the most comprehensive in Canada.
David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson Reuters and long-time partner of the National Gallery, is donating a part of the remarkable Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC) to the Institute. This includes a resonant collection of 19th- and 20th-century photographic material relating to the history of modern conflict and the human condition.
A collaborative partnership to strategically build the collection over the next decade will see it grow exponentially in scale, with rare early photographic equipment and superb historical photographs from around the world, as well as international press archives, including The Globe and Mail, the Sydney Morning Herald press agency collection, and the Haynes Studio archive.
I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn.• Pablo Picasso