Gold and Silver: Illusions of the Gold Rush at the Canadian Photography Institute


The news of gold found in California in 1848 brought around 300,000 people to the West Coast of the US, building hopes, dreams and illusions of a better life for an entire generation, and changing the history of the United States and the world forever.

Running until 2 April 2018, the Canadian Photography Institute Galleries in partnership with Library and Archives Canada, presents, in Ottawa,  an exhibition which focuses on famous and anonymous gold-seekers who risked their lives to find traces of the most precious metal. Highlights include moving daguerreotype portraits of prospectors.

Exploring themes of migration, cultural uprooting and danger, this fantastic exhibition also highlights two major innovations in the history of photography which parallel the development of the industrial advancements of Northern America: single images on metal and multiple images on glass and paper.

Image: Unidentified Photographer, Portrait of an Unidentified Pair of Prospectors, c. 1860. Canadian Photography Institute. NGC, Ottawa