Arts & Culture

National Gallery of Canada to establish Canadian Photography Institute

The National Gallery of Canada is establishing the Canadian Photography Institute, thanks to a unique partnership and the largest corporate financial donation it has ever received.

The Gallery says the new initiative will allow it “to take its place among the very deepest, most comprehensive, and broadly useful public collections of photographs in the world.”

In addition to a $10 million donation from Scotiabank (the largest donation in the bank’s 183-year history), the initiative is also supported by media magnate David Thomson, chairman of Thomson Reuters Corporation and a well-known art collector. Thomson will contribute “an evolving series of donations and acquisitions” for the next decade.

“Scotiabank has a long history of supporting arts, culture, and heritage in communities across Canada,” said Brian Porter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank, in a press release. “We are proud to partner with the National Gallery of Canada and David Thomson in the creation of the Canadian Photography Institute, which will showcase Canadian and international photographic works at the National Gallery and through the auspices of the Gallery across Canada and around the world.”

The Gallery’s website notes that photography has always been an important part of its collection since 1967. It currently holds more than 50,000 photographs and 146,000 negatives, including works by Diane Arbus, William Henry Fox Talbot and Lisette Model.

The gallery site notes the Institute will feature year-round photographic exhibitions, research fellowships, symposia and public lectures, and databases for scholars and the general public.

“I commend the National Gallery of Canada on the creation of the Canadian Photography Institute,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Thanks to its partnership efforts, the visual arts community and Canadians will benefit from a national research and exhibition centre that presents and preserves an outstanding collection of photographic works.”