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DISPATCH: War Photographs in Print, 1854-2008

September 17 – December 7, 2014
Main Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre
Curator: Dr. Thierry Gervais

DISPATCH: War Photographs in Print, 1854–2008 examines the production of war photographs, the role of photojournalists, and their collaboration with picture editors in the press. From Roger Fenton’s collodion plate photographs taken during the Crimean War (1853–1856) to Luc Delahaye’s images of the recent conflicts in Afghanistan (2001–present), the photographic representation of war has evolved dramatically in the occidental press over the past 150 years.

By comparing original prints with their reproductions in magazines, and in exhibiting other modes through which visual news is disseminated, DISPATCH reveals that taking a shot is only one step in the process of illustrating a war. Picture editors and art directors have always selected, trimmed, ordered and sequenced war photographs to suit their particular needs. This exhibition views these photographs not as windows open to the world, but as representations that are the product of changing editorial figures, aesthetic priorities and historical contexts.




Event(s):

Opening Reception
Wednesday, January 17
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Lecture
Louie Palu and Dr. Thierry Gervais
Wednesday, October 1
6:30 PM

Exhibition Tour
Dr. Thierry Gervais
Wednesday, November 26
6:00 PM

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 PM

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted

In kind support provided by PACART, our fine art transportation partner

A man wearing a fur hat reaching out to his horse
Fig. 1

Roger Fenton, Lieutenant Grills, R.H.A., 1855, salted paper print. Gernsheim Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

A group of soldiers with guns run through a field
Fig. 2

Francois Sully, [Vietnam], 16 July 1962, gelatin silver print, detail. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Two soldiers outside a tipi, one stands in the doorway, the other sits
Fig. 3

Roger Fenton, General Bosquet & Captain Dampierre, 1855, salted paper print. Gernsheim Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

A group of soldiers work to pull a cart out of the mud
Fig. 4

Max Pohly, [World War I], ca. 1916, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

A soldier holds a small baby
Fig. 5

W. Eugene Smith, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, 1944, printed later, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Curator Bio

Dr. Thierry Gervais
Curator

Dr. Thierry Gervais is assistant professor at Ryerson University and Head of Research at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC). He has been the editor-in-chief of Études photographiques (2007–2013) and has published extensively about press photographs. He has curated exhibitions for the Centre Pompidou-Metz (2013), the Musée d’Orsay (2008) and the Jeu de Paume (2007) in France. He organizes a yearly symposium about photography at the RIC and he is currently working with Gaëlle Morel on a book about press and photography.

Exhibition Catalogue

Fig. 1

Front cover of Dispatch: War Photographs in Print, 1854-2008

Dispatch: War Photographs in Print, 1854-2008

Contributors: Kate Addleman-Frankel, Thierry Gervais, Gaelle Morel, and Paul Roth

This book examines the production of war photographs, the role of photojournalists, and their collaboration with picture editors in the press. From Roger Fenton's collodion plate photographs taken during the Crimean War (1853-1856) to Luc Delahaye's images of the recent conflict in Afghanistan (2001-present), the photographic representation of war has evolved dramatically in the occidental press over the past 150 years. By comparing original prints with their reproductions in magazines, and in exibiting other modes through which visual news is disseminated, DISPATCH reveals that taking a shot is only one step in the process of illustrating a war.

Picture editors and art directors have always selected, trimmed, ordered and sequenced war photographs to suit their particular needs. This exhibition views these photographs not as windows open to the world, but as representations that are the product of changing editorial figures, aesthetic priorities and historical contexts.

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Installation Shots

A wall covered in newspapers, a bench in the middle of the room
Fig. 1

DISPATCH: War Photographs in Print, 1854 –2008 (installation view), 2014 © Eugen Sakhnenko, Ryerson Image Centre

Photographs arranged in a line on a pale green wall
Fig. 2

DISPATCH: War Photographs in Print, 1854 –2008 (installation view), 2014 © Eugen Sakhnenko, Ryerson Image Centre

Old journals and newspapers in thin frames
Fig. 3

DISPATCH: War Photographs in Print, 1854 –2008 (installation view), 2014 © Eugen Sakhnenko, Ryerson Image Centre

Sponsors

In kind support provided by PACART, our fine art transportation partner