Red Cap Snow Shoe Club, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Photography Studio:
Wm. Notman & Son, Montreal (1883–1936) and
Eugène L'Africain (Canadian, 1859–1892)
ca. 1888
Collage of albumen silver prints with applied media
Image: 71.1 x 83.8 cm (28 x 33 in.)
Credit Line:
McCord Museum, Montreal
Not on view
Notman established his first photography studio in Montreal in 1856 and relentlessly expanded his operations over the next two decades. At its peak, his company had twenty-four branches throughout Canada and New England, making it the most successful photographic enterprise in North America at the time. Notman specialized in composite portraits of large groups, including sporting clubs, trade associations, family gatherings, clergymen, and college graduates, some featuring more than four hundred figures. Each figure in a group was photographed separately in the studio then printed at the proper scale and pasted onto a painted background, as in this portrait of a Nova Scotia snowshoe club. The entire collage was then re-photographed. The final, relatively seamless tableau could then be printed and sold in a variety of sizes and formats.
Per provenance report, gift of Mrs. Alister MacDonald to the Museum on December 27, 1956. Reproduced in Musée McCord d'Histoire Canadienne's exhibition catalogue "Les photographies composites de William Notman / Stanley G. Triggs ; [traduction, Bérengère de Guernon] = The composite photographs of William Notman / Stanley G. Triggs ; [translation, Bérengère de Guernon]," (Montréal: Musée McCord d'Histoire Canadienne = McCord Museum of Canadian History, 1994), p. 68.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," February 17, 2013–May 5, 2013.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

Fineman, Mia. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 32, pp. 55, 214.