The exhibition provides audiences with a rare opportunity to view vintage prints selected from the holdings of MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver. Spanning 150 years, the photographic materials on view include daguerreotypes, tintypes, albumen prints and more. Visiting curator Emily Sylman has carefully selected images from the archives that represent key photographic processes and focused on the social uses and applications of photography on the north shore. Many of these images are vernacular, created by amateurs as byproducts of their daily lives. Other images are the creative product of professional photographers and artists, such as Leonard Frank and Iain Baxter.
Organized chronologically, viewers can expect to learn about the evolution of technological processes and their materiality, as well as the preservation challenges posed by fragile photographic media. Topics explored in this exhibition include photography’s changing role in society as it became more accessible and transformed from valuable keepsakes to disposable snapshots.
This exhibition prioritizes images of underrepresented communities to introduce audiences to people, places and activities that may not be commonly associated with living and working on the north shore. While working on this exhibition, the curatorial team encountered an absence of provenance and context for many of the images representing women and Coast Salish peoples. As a result, we engaged with members of these communities to “locate” the images.