New York Times donates 25,000 historic images of Canada to Ryerson University

Apr 11 2017, 5:40 pm

There is a new must see exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC).

Nearly 25,000 press photos from Canadian news events and personalities from the 20th century have been donated by The New York Times Photo Archive.

According to Ryerson University, the Canadian images have been promised to the RIC by Toronto-area real estate entrepreneur Chris Bratty as a generous act of cultural repatriation. Bratty purchased the images from The New York Times in 2008.

“This collection captures thousands of Canadian stories over the course of the 20th Century. It gives me great pleasure to bring it home to Canada, where it can tell those stories to Canadians,” said Chris Bratty, President of Land Development and Investments for The Remington Group, in a press release.

The donation will be known as the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection, and will be on display at the RIC from September 13 to December 10, 2017.

Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi called the donation an “extraordinary gift from Mr. Bratty.” He said it further established the RIC and Ryerson as a key international repository for significant archives of press photography.

Photographer unknown, Untitled [“Trudeaumania”, Toronto, Ontario], 1968, gelatin silver print. The Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

“The donation of 25,000 photographs depicting Canada is a wonderful addition to Ryerson’s outstanding holdings, which include the celebrated Black Star Collection, and re-confirms Ryerson as one of the world’s leading institutions for the study and research of photographic history and culture,” said Lachemi.

The upcoming collection will be further celebrated on the glass vista of the RIC’s west façade, according to the University. “A new panorama highlighting Canadian achievement, called Spotlight Canada: Faces That Shaped a Nation, will be installed this spring featuring portraits of such important Canadians as Margaret Atwood, Viola Desmond, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, representing the diversity that helped to establish our rich culture and national identity,” stated Ryerson.

Federal Newsphotos of Canada, Untitled [Peace protesters at Easter Parade, Toronto, Ontario], March 29, 1959, gelatin silver print. The Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

The façade is also part of the public installation program of this year’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, which takes over the city of Toronto with more than 200 exhibitions and events throughout the month of May.

The Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection will be introduced to the public with the exhibition The Faraway Nearby, which examines a century of Canada’s history and its representation in the leading American “newspaper of record.”

“Our government is pleased to support The Faraway Nearby through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund,” said Minister Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “This exhibition includes photographs of Ontario’s rich culture and heritage and, as we celebrate Ontario’s 150th anniversary, is a reminder of how incredible our province is, how much we have to be proud of and what we can accomplish when we come together.”

The Ryerson Image Centre is located at 33 Gould Street. There are free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 pm.

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