Notman's staff (55 in the 1870s) included apprentice photographers. He established 14 branch studios in eastern Canada and the US, all managed by his trainees. Notman won many medals for his work in exhibitions at home and abroad. To meet the demand for landscapes and other views, he sent his photographers across Canada, recording the construction of the CPR, the rise of the western cities, the life of the plains and coastal Indians, the lumber trade of the Ottawa Valley, East Coast fishing, rural activities and the bustle of the cities. Notman also became famous for the composite photographs of the snowshoe and curling clubs produced by his studio. These large creations were made up of 300 or more individual photographs, cut out and pasted onto a painted background.
Always community minded, Notman was involved in art associations, church societies, sports clubs and other Montréal organizations. He was also a backer of the Windsor Hotel and co-partner in large holdings in LONGUEUIL, where he had a summer home. Of his 7 children, all 3 boys became photographers. William McFarlane NOTMAN, his eldest son, took over the business at his death. The Notman collection, containing over 400 000 photographs, plus office records and family correspondence, forms part of the collections of the Notman Photographic Archives housed in the McCord Museum of McGill University.
Author STANLEY G. TRIGGS
Links to Other Sites
Urban Life through Two Lenses
This interactive multimedia website encourages viewers to compare photographs of Montréal locations taken 100 years apart. Illustrates how historical photographic images can challenge our perception of reality. From the McCord Museum and the Virtual Museum.
McCord Museum: Cornelius Krieghoff
The McCord Museum website offers an exceptional collection of digitized images, including art works by Cornelius Krieghoff and photographs by William Notman.
The Photographic Studio of William Notman
A multimedia website devoted to William Notman, one of Canada’s most eminent and innovative photographers. Includes online photo galleries, educational activities, and more. From the McCord Museum and the Virtual Museum.
A biref synopsis of a documentary film about photographer William Notman. From the docspace.ca website.