Rare Merit

Rare Merit

Colleen Skidmore (CA)

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Rare Merit is a beautifully illustrated and astute examination of women photographers in Canada as it took shape in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Throughout, the camera was both a witness to the colonialism, capitalism, and gendered and racialized social organization, and a protagonist. And women across the country, whether residents or visitors, captured people and places that were entirely new to the lens. This book shows how they did so, and the meaning their work carries.

Colleen Skidmore 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.

Why women? Why not women? 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.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780774867054

Number of pages: 368

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: UBC Press

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