The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs
New exhibition explores how photography from the past impacts photos in the present
The Canadian Photography Institute (CPI) of the National Gallery of Canada presents a new exhibition that explores the evocative juxtaposition of works made more than a century apart. The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs, on view from May 4 to September 16, 2018, features the work of more than 100 artists, including Henri Cartier Bresson, Edward Burtynsky, Julia Margaret Cameron and Lisette Model. The photographs, some on display for the first time, reflect the human impulse to capture seen and unseen worlds.
“Photography is among the most transformative inventions of the Industrial Revolution,” said NGC Director Marc Mayer. “Both art and communication were changed forever by its advent. For the fifty years since 1967, what has now become the Canadian Photography Institute has been dedicated to the telling of that rich and complex story in all its wonder, as this exhibition so beautifully demonstrates.”
The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs makes evident the trajectory from the earliest days of the medium to the present day, a journey that witnesses remarkable shifts in the reading and creating of the photographic image. The exhibition reveals how photographers living in different time periods were influenced by their predecessors and explores the role of photographer as an instrument of storytelling.
The exhibition features a selection of 151 works, two albums and 25 projections by renowned photographers, such as Lynne Cohen, Harold Edgerton, Walker Evans, Isabelle Hayeur, Zhang Huan, Gustav LeGray, Arnaud Maggs, Charles Nègre, Southworth & Hawes, William Henry Fox Talbot and Margaret Watkins, as well as major works by several contemporary African photographers, including Sammy Baloji and Zanele Muholi.
“It is a tribute to my predecessor and my fellow photography curators that the collection is so wide, so deep and so rich in content,” noted the curator of the exhibition and interim Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Canada, Ann Thomas. “Having to select under 200 works from a collection of 200,000 was the first challenge. The second was to organize the chosen images into a display that would be intelligible and inform our visitors about collecting photographs in a general way, while also offering insight into the image and its history.”
The collection began in 1967, when the Gallery started to “formally” collect works. Prior to this time, there was a less systematic approach. As such, the exhibition features photographic works collected between 1967 and 2017, when major contributors were collected in order to represent the changes taking place in the medium. In order to highlight the contrast of old and new, the exhibition has been organized in seven themes: Conversations in Time; The Art and Science of Invention; Exploring and Discovering; An Instrument of Detection; Advertising; Portraying; and Creating New Narratives.
Showcasing a variety of mediums – installations, video, photographs and film - the exhibition includes a diverse range of prints, from albumen silver, gelatin silver and palladium dye coupler to digital, inkjet, chromogenic, carbon, salted paper, azo dye, collotype, photolithograph, gum bichromate and platinum, as well as examples of the daguerreotype, photogravure, cyanotype, collotype, photolithograph, woodburytype and autochrome. The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs also exposes the scope of the use of mechanical aids, demonstrating that these 50 years were a period of incredible invention for photography.
The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs will be presented at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, from February 15 to May 26, 2019.
A catalogue featuring more than 150 plates, as well as essays by Ann Thomas, former Senior Curator of Photographs and interim Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Canada, and by John McElhone, former Chief Photographs Conservator, accompanies the exhibition. Available at the Boutique at the price of $40, or online at shopNGC.ca
Meet the Expert: Ann Thomas
Join the exhibition curator, Ann Thomas, for a tour of The Extended Moment: Fifty Years of Collecting Photographs on May 5, from 11 am to 12 pm, in the Canadian Photography Institute Galleries. In English with bilingual question period. Included with admission to the Gallery.
Hours of operation
Until September 30, 2018, the Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm. Holiday exceptions apply, and hours are subject to change without notice. Please visit gallery.ca for more information.
Tickets: $15 (adults); $13 (seniors); $7 (age 24 and under and full-time students); $30 (families: two adults and three youth, 17 and under). Admission is free for children under the age of 11 and for Members. Includes admission to the national collection, and all exhibitions excluding Impressionist Treasures. Free admission on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. To find out more.
Exhibitions catalogues are on sale at the Boutique, allowing visitors to revisit their favorite works of art for years to come. Also available online at ShopNGC.ca. Opens at 10 am daily. 15% off for Members.
NGCmagazine.ca is a beautifully illustrated online source of information about the Canadian and international art world, and the National Gallery of Canada’s activities and programming. This online magazine includes articles about upcoming and travelling exhibitions, behind the scenes features, artists’ profiles, book reviews and interviews. NGC Magazine is free and published here. Subscribe to the NGC Magazine newsletter here. This week, read the article titled Seen through the eye of the beholder.
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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 centuries, 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 center 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 gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCan
About the Canadian Photography Institute
The Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada is a multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography in all its forms. The Institute was established in 2015 and officially launched in 2016. Its collections, which are regularly enriched with new donations, are built upon the National Gallery’s Photographs Collection, the collection of the former Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography and the still photos of the National Film Board of Canada archives. Part of the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Photography Institute receives unprecedented support from CPI’s Founding Partner, Scotiabank, the Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC) and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. More information about the Canadian Photography Institution can be found on the Gallery’s website gallery.ca/cpi.
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For media only: To plan an interview, obtain images, or more information, please contact:
Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada
613.990.6835 / [email protected]