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About the Institute
From emerging talent to historical archives and established artists, the Canadian Photography Institute is the place to see and study photography in all its forms.
Committed to the history, evolution and future of photography, the Institute was established in 2015 and officially launched in October 2016.
Housing one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of photographs and related materials, it represents the entire history of the medium, revealing and reinterpreting the most important stories of our past, present and future.
The Institute’s collection builds upon the National Gallery’s Photographs Collection, with the unprecedented support of Scotiabank, the Archive of Modern Conflict and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.
Visitors to the Gallery can experience outstanding works in the Institute galleries, dedicated exhibition spaces where photography is always on view.
With its resources and initiatives, the Institute aims to stimulate ideas, generate discoveries, inspire visitors and attract creative thinkers and scholars from around the world, positioning Canada as a global leader in the field of photographic studies.
The more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.
- Robert Mapplethorpe
Photography is the most varied of pictorial techniques, ranging from daguerreotypes and silver gelatin prints, to large scale back-lit transparencies and building-size murals, to digital images and ink jet prints.
Since its invention in 1839, the photograph has been used as an instrument for scientific research, historical documentation and journalism, as well as artistic expression.
As an art form, it has had a profound influence on other media, functioning as an aide-mémoire for painters and sculptors, as a catalyst for the development of abstraction, and as inspiration for the cubists, who borrowed forms from aerial photography and x-rays.
The influence of photography on contemporary culture cannot be overstated; humanity has become ever more dependent on, and demanding of, images. Digital photography is now a universal, daily, even hourly pastime, a standard medium for both mass and private communication.