Our spring/summer exhibition season has been postponed until fall 2020. Learn more

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The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) exists for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media. Admission to the gallery is free. We offer free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 pm.

Two people looking at a wall in the gallery full of photographs and posters
Fig. 1

  Attica USA 1971: Images and Sounds of a Rebellion (installation view), Ryerson Image Centre, 2017 © Clifton Li, Ryerson Image Centre

About the RIC

As an active partner within the academic fabric of Ryerson University, the cultural network of Toronto, and the national and international photography community, we develop programs that speak to and welcome interested parties from many walks of life, including students, faculty, artists, historians, and curators, as well as the general public.

The RIC boasts three interrelated areas of activity: an exhibition program, which addresses topics of social, cultural, aesthetic, and historical concern from a variety of contemporary perspectives; its research program, which conducts and facilitates inquiry into primary resource materials and offers lectures, symposia, and publications devoted to the history of photography; and, accessible in its Peter Higdon Research Centre, a collection of photography spanning the medium's history—including the renowned Black Star Collection of twentieth-century photo-reportage. The RIC is also home to several artists' archives, including those of Berenice Abbott, Wendy Snyder MacNeil, Jo Spence, and Werner Wolff.

Our museum-standard facility consists of approximately 4,500 square feet of exhibition space; a Great Hall for lectures, conferences, screenings and receptions; a glassed-in entrance colonnade with a 16 foot new media wall visible from the street; a temperature and moisture controlled vault for our growing collection; and a state of the art, professionally-staffed research centre.

Exterior view of the RIC at dusk in winter.
Fig. 2

Ryerson Image Centre, 2020 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

Spring/Summer Exhibitions Postponed

Mar. 26, 2020

On March 13, we temporarily closed our galleries and research centre in response to COVID-19. The health and safety of our community remains our top priority and, given the evolving nature of the situation, we have now made the difficult decision to postpone our spring/summer exhibition season until fall 2020. The launch party for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, scheduled for April 30, has been cancelled.

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Staff + Advisory Board

Gallery Staff

For general inquires, please email: ric@ryerson.ca
For media inquiries, please email Kristen Dobbin: kristendobbin@ryerson.ca

Paul Roth 

Paul has over 25 years of experience working with some of the most important photography collections in North America. Previously, he served as Senior Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; as Executive Director of The Richard Avedon Foundation in New York; and as archivist of the Robert Frank Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He is co-author and co-editor of Gordon Parks: The Flàvio Story (Steidl, 2017), author and co-editor of Gordon Parks: Collected Works (Steidl, 2012), and author and editor of Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power (Steidl/Corcoran, 2008).

Natalie Spagnol
Manager, Administration and Operations

Kristen Gergely
Administrative & Curatorial Assistant

Gaëlle Morel
Exhibitions Curator

Gaëlle holds a PhD in the History of Contemporary Art from Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne, France. In 2012, she curated the Berenice Abbott retrospective exhibition at the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and, in 2009, she served as the guest curator of the Mois de la Photo in Montreal. Her research deals with the history of photojournalism, the artistic and cultural recognition of photography from the 1970s, and photographic modernism in the 1930s.

Valérie Matteau
Senior Exhibitions Officer

Kristen Dobbin
Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Eric Glavin
Art Installer and Facility Technician

Simone Estrin
Coordinator, Public Programs and Visitor Services

Sara Angelucci
Student Gallery Curatorial Coordinator

Heather Kelly
Marketing Strategist

soJin Chun
Outreach Programmer, Youth in Focus

Research Centre &
Collections Staff

For information on access to the collection, please email: riccollections@ryerson.ca

Denise Birkhofer
Collections Curator and Research Centre Manager (parental leave)

Denise received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (United States). Her scholarship addresses such topics as Mexican street photography, contemporary Latin American art, and female artists. In her previous capacity as Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, Ohio, she organized exhibitions on the work of Hugo Brehme, Judit Reigl, Brett Weston, and Fred Wilson, among others. 

Thierry Gervais
Head of Research

Thierry is an assistant professor at Ryerson University and Head of Research at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), Toronto. He received his PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) in 2007. He teaches history of photography and is pursuing research about the use of photography in magazines and the first photoreporters. He was the editor in chief of Études photographiques from 2007 to 2013 and the author of La photographie. Histoire, technique, presse, art (with Gaëlle Morel, Larousse, 2008). He was co-curator of the exhibitions "Views from Above" (Centre Pompidou-Metz, Spring 2013), "Léon Gimpel (1873-1948), the audacious work of a photographer" (Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Spring 2008), and "L'Événement: les images comme acteurs de l'histoire" (Jeu de Paume, Paris, Winter 2007). He organized the symposia "About Photographic Collections: Definitions, Descriptions, Access" (RIC, 2012) and "The 'Public Life' of Photographs" (RIC, 2013). 

Chantal Wilson
Registrar and Collections Officer

Jennifer Park
Art Preparator

Anna Jedrzejowski
Collection Cataloguer and Reference Specialist

Charlene Heath
Archives Assistant

Laura Margaret Ramsey
Digital Asset and Imaging Specialist

Rachel Ciolfi
Digitization and Cataloguing Assistant

Locrin Stewart
Registration Assistant

D'Arcy White
Project Assistant, Processing and Registration

Rachel Verbin
Research Program Associate

Advisory board

Florence Minz, Chair
Economist and management consultant; current board member and former Chair, Royal Conservatory of Music, former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Nature; former Chair, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Voices for Children; former member of the Governing Council, University of Toronto; former Director, St. Michael’s Hospital and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Stephen Bulger
President of the Stephen Bulger Gallery; Former Chair of the Ryerson Image Centre Advisory Board; Former President of the Board for the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), Washington, D.C.; former Member of the Board of the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board (CCPERB); and Co-founder of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Edward Burtynsky
Ryerson University alumnus and one of Canada's most respected photographers; Burtynsky’s photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are in the collections of more than fifty major museums around the world.

Atom Egoyan
One of the most celebrated contemporary filmmakers on the international scene; winner of the Grand Prix and International Critics Awards from the Cannes Film Festival; recipient of several Academy Award nominations.

John Honderich
Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario; former Publisher of the Toronto Star; Chair of Torstar's Board of Directors.

Shabin Mohamed
Chartered Accountant; Trustee of the Board of the AGO; Board Member of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the ROM.

Howard A. Tanenbaum
Former Chair of the Ryerson Image Centre Advisory Board; lawyer; financier; real estate developer; art collector; co-founder (with his wife, Carole Tanenbaum) of The Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Charitable Foundation.


Volunteer opportunities

At the RIC we rely on a diverse group of volunteers to help support our exhibitions, special events and public programmes. As a volunteer, you can gain valuable experience in a professional gallery setting. In exchange, we would be happy to provide a reference letter, or sign-off on your volunteer hours.

What can you expect as a RIC Volunteer? Some of your duties include:

  • Interacting with visitors to offer information or answer questions about the RIC and our current programming
  • Assisting with events, including set-up and take-down
  • Supporting our front of house and docent team during exhibition tours, opening parties and school group visits

We ask for a minimum 4-month commitment, which includes on-site training. Volunteer shifts can range from 3-4 hours in length and take place on days, evenings and weekends. 

Volunteer recruitment is held annually late August / early September, but we encourage you to get in touch via email and introduce yourself. Please direct all inquiries to ric@ryerson.ca


Complete listings for employment opportunities at the Ryerson Image Centre are shared through Ryerson University's Human Resources department. Please visit www.ryerson.ca/jobs, or call (416) 979-5075 for more information. Student internship and work study positions also become available seasonally and may be posted on this page. To stay up to date, sign up for our e-newsletter via the website footer.