Contemporary projections, nineteenth century daguerreotypes and albumen photographs allow you to travel along the rivers of California and across the snow-covered mountaintops of the Yukon to fathom the ambitions, dreams and illusions of an entire generation of gold seekers.
The young adventurers differ in their postures, expressions and clothing from the usual portrait photography of that time, which was far more solemn. They are shown in combination with the landscape in which the search for gold took place.
Portrait of Daniel J. Butler with gold and mining tools, 1850 © Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada/Archive of Modern Conflict. Daguerreotype with applied colour.
In the middle of the nineteenth century two great dreams became reality: the possibility of filling your pockets with gold, the most valuable of metals, and the possibility of having your likeness recorded by means of two metallic salts: gold and silver. The exhibition stresses this relationship between the gold rush and early photography.
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This exhibition is a collaboration between the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada and Foam, in partnership with Library and Archives Canada.
This exhibition was made possible thanks to the gift of “The Origins of Photography” from the Archive of Modern Conflict to the Canadian Photography Institute.
Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.