Temporary exhibition

June 15, 2012 — October 14, 2012

Alexander Henderson

Living Landscapes

This exhibition has ended

For a seventh consecutive year, the Museum presents its outdoor exhibition on McGill College Avenue. Living Landscapes, by photographer Alexander Henderson, enables passers-by to admire 25 large-format 19th century photographs of some of Canada’s most stunning landscapes.

Presented on McGill College Avenue between De Maisonneuve and President- Kennedy, this open-air exhibition provides a fascinating glimpse of the Montreal of years past. Pedestrians will enjoy scenes of winter in Mount Royal Park in 1877, witness ice cutting efforts on the St. Lawrence River during the same period, and be treated to a bird’s eye view of one of the city’s most beautiful gardens at the Montreal Seminar. A number of other shots capturing nature at its most breathtaking are also part of the exhibition.

A special relationship between the Wm.Notman and Son Studio and Canadian Pacific
The McCord Museum possesses one of the largest collections of Canadian photography, named after famous Montreal photographer William Notman. The Wm.Notman and Son Studio and Canadian Pacific have a special relationship that dates from the late nineteenth century.

William Notman struck a twenty-five year arrangement with CPR General Manager William Van Horne in 1884: CPR would provide free transportation to any point on the railway line Notman wished to photograph while he, in exchange, made the prints available for CPR’s promotional advertising. The McCord Museum possesses more than 450,000 photographs taken by the Notman Studio during its 78 years of existence, including several of Notman’s very own darkroom CPR carriage.

About photographer Alexander Henderson
Alexander Henderson (1831-1913), a Scot by birth, photographed the New World with the eye of an artist. Although he was particularly drawn to the bustle of Montreal and applied his talent to illustrating the scenic aspects of the city, his love of nature often took him far from his studio in Philips Square. He explored Quebec’s waterways in the tradition of the region’s Native peoples and pioneers, and he was among the first to travel the country’s new railway from coast to coast. In 1892, he was named manager of the Canadian Pacific photography department and helped capture the Canadian West on film. His prints show breathtaking cross-Canadian scenery, from cities to the country, as seen from the windows of railway cars, the most important means of transportation in the late 19th century.

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