The Family Camera

by Photo Life

Felicity cutting her cake with her mother Kitty and friends on her 8th birthday. Derry Martin, England. Gelatin silver print. April 1948, 19.3 cm x 23.5 cm. Courtesy of the Somerset Family.

The Royal Museum of Ontario in Toronto and the Art Gallery of Mississauga have partnered to offer The Family Camera. On view in both Toronto (through October 29) and Mississauga (through August 27), this exhibition considers family photos and their relationship to migration, identity, community and nation. Through mostly Canadian family photographs, we are prompted to think about the cultural shifts over the years that have resulted in explanded notions of family, as well as how technological inventions (Polaroids, cell phones, etc.) have altered how we capture and document our lives and our families. And, exclusively at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Missing Chapters focuses on family photographs that were lost, destroyed, abandoned or untaken. Artist Dinh Q. Lê, known for his large-scale photographic weavings, created the installation Crossing the Farther Shore from found images taken in Vietnam between 1940s and 1980s and left behind or lost during years of political unrest. Lê describes the work as a “surrogate family photo album or collection” for the photos his own family left behind when leaving Vietnam to escape the Khmer Rouge. The Family Camera is a Primary Exhibition in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Ellen Montague and her son Christopher; her sister Ruth Brown; and her husband Spurgeon Montague beside the Christmas tree. Unknown photographer, Windsor, ON. Gelatin silver print, December 25th, 1961, 8.9 cm x 8.8 cm. Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth Montague.

Related Articles