First exhibition of Canadian Photography Institute
launched at Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival
Cutline: The Photography Archives of The Globe and Mail, an exhibition organized by the newly formed Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada, The Globe and Mail and the Archive of Modern Conflict, opens this Saturday, April 30th, in Toronto as a Primary Exhibition of the 20th Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. On view until June 26, 2016, Cutline reveals fascinating stories from the The Globe and Mail photography archives.
One hundred and seventy-five (175) photographs and their cutlines – the descriptive captions on the backs of the prints – reveal careful practices employed by news photographers and picture editors. Through the accumulated archive, patterns unfold, the concealed becomes as significant as the exposed, and an expression of Canadian identity emerges.
“The National Gallery of Canada is proud to present the first exhibition organized by the Canadian Photography Institute and its partners as part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto,” said National Gallery of Canada Director and CEO, Marc Mayer. “Cutline is a perfect example of the Institute’s potential for devising new ways to explore the richness of photographic culture toward greater understanding of humankind,” he added.
Organized by curators Roger Hargreaves, Jill Offenbeck and Stefanie Petrilli of the Archive of Modern Conflict, the exhibition focuses on personalities and events in Canada during the Cold War period from 1947-1991. In his essay, which accompanies the exhibition, Roger Hargreaves writes: “(…) The exhibition, Cutline, assembled from just 175 vintage prints, represents a final curation, whittled down to one interpretation of the collection’s riches (…).”
Cutline is also comprised of three films: Very Nice, Very Nice (National Film Board of Canada, 1961), by Arthur Lipsett, a montage of interviews set against an animation of still photographs and news images; a newly commissioned animation of prints from The Globe and Mail and a silent documentary on the now obsolete industrial technology of the newspaper factory. A section titled The Canadians includes a selection of photographs from the 1950s, framed more conventionally, and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Robert Franks’ The Americans.
Ensuring access to future generations
The Globe and Mail is now relocating to a newer, lighter, high-tech building and is de-accessioning its photo library of 750,000 press photographs. A collection of approximately 25,000 prints will be donated to the newly formed Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada. This is the first part of a wider donation programme that will ensure the collection will be available to future generations. Cutline presents the first expression, rather than the last word, of the wealth and possibilities of this photographic archive, which charts the history of news and personalities in Canada in the twentieth century.
This first exhibition of the Canadian Photography Institute is supported by the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.
Cutline: The Photography Archives of The Globe and Mail will be on view at The Globe and Mail’s Front Street Building. Exhibition access from the back at 425 Wellington Street West, Toronto. Free admission. Open from Wednesday to Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm; and Friday from 10 am to 9 pm.
Cutline will be on view at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in the fall of 2016.
Meet the Curator
Saturday, April 30 at 2 pm
Join exhibition curators Roger Hargreaves, Jill Offenbeck and Stefanie Petrilli from the Archive of Modern Conflict who share insights into Cutline: The Photography Archives of The Globe and Mail. In English with a bilingual question period.
Saturday 25 June at 2 pm
Join Ann Thomas, Senior Curator, Photographs at the National Gallery of Canada for a tour of Cutline: The Photography Archives of The Globe and Mail. In English with bilingual question period.
About the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada
The Canadian Photography Institute is a national research and exhibition centre of excellence devoted to photography. Established in November 2015, the Institute creates partnerships and opportunities for the integrated study of its collection, inclusive of a broad range of disciplines grounded in social, cultural, aesthetic, scientific and historical issues. The Institute is supported through a partnership of unprecedented scope with collector and philanthropist David Thomson, and the support of Scotiabank as the Founding Partner. More information about the Canadian Photography Institute can be found on the Gallery’s website: gallery.ca/cpi
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit
About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to supporting the National Gallery of Canada in fulfilling its mandate. By fostering strong philanthropic partnerships, the Foundation provides the Gallery with the additional financial support required to lead Canada’s visual arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The blend of public support and private philanthropy empowers the Gallery to preserve and interpret Canada’s visual arts heritage. The Foundation welcomes present and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments. To learn more about the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, visit http://www.gallery.ca/en/give/foundation.php.
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For media only:
Media preview: Reporters are invited to tour the exhibition with Cutline curators Roger Hargreaves and Stefanie Petrilli from the Archive of Modern Conflict this Thursday, April 28th, at 11 am and at 1:30 pm. To confirm your attendance, schedule an interview, obtain images, or for more information, please contact: