Canadian photographs from the collection of Christopher Varley
Donated in 2018 by former art museum curator Christopher Varley, this collection comprises 542 works by various Canadian makers from the late nineteenth into the present century. The photographs document diverse landscapes and changing cityscapes across the country, representing the geographic regions of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. A number of early-twentieth-century “real photo postcards” by Philip Timms and others serve as mementos of a particular place and time, and reveal developments in the circulation of photographic imagery. Later twentieth-century prints by such artists as Geoffrey James and Douglas Curran exemplify the genres of landscape and street photography, while works by Fred Herzog and Fred Douglas are antecedents to the influential Vancouver School of conceptual photography. Representing some of the country’s most significant photographers in a broad range of photographic media, the collection provides an in-depth and important scholarly resource on the history of Canadian photography.