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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Rare Merit

Women in Photography in Canada, 1840–1940

A compelling survey of the professional lives and historic photographs of Canadian women.

As Canada took shape in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the camera was both a witness to colonialism, capitalism, and gendered and racialized social organization, as well as an unlikely protagonist. Women across the country, whether residents or visitors, photographed people and places that were entirely new to the lens. This book examines how they did so, and the meanings their work carries.
The author surveys the professional lives and photographs of nearly eighty women—studio portraitists, travel documentarians, photojournalists, fine artists, hobbyists, and photographic printers—from Lucy Maude Montgomery on Prince Edward Island to Élise Livernois in Quebec City, and from Margaret Bourke-White in the Arctic to Hannah Maynard on Vancouver Island. Presenting the exceptional range and impact of their work, Rare Merit proves that women’s practices and images—knowingly omitted from founding narratives of photographic history—were diverse, compelling, widespread, and influential.

352 pages | 161 halftones, 2 maps | 7 1/2 x 10

Art: Canadian Art

Women's Studies

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