MP-1989.15.1 | Charles F. Notman and staff in Notman Studio, Montreal, QC, about 1930
Charles F. Notman and staff in Notman Studio, Montreal, QC, about 1930
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1930, 20th century
Silver salts - Gelatin silver process
15.7 x 19.6 cm
Gift of Mrs. Isherwood
© McCord Museum
Keywords: male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Charles Notman (1870-1955) is shown here surrounded by four Notman photography studio employees.
Charles, William Notman's youngest son, was the only one of the three sons to be placed as an apprentice abroad. After finishing high school at the age of 18, he was sent in 1888 to the Park Street studio in Boston. The following summer he served as an assistant to his brother, William McFarlane Notman, on his third trip out West along the Canadian Pacific Railway. He then went back to his work at the Boston studio until the death of his father in 1891, when he returned to the Montreal studio. In 1894 his brother offered to take him on as a junior partner in the firm. Over the next few years, his talent as a portrait photographer won increasing recognition, helping significantly to maintain the Notman studio's leading position in Montreal.
The period from when he became a partner with his brother until the sale of the studio in 1935, and encompassing the time when he was the sole owner of the company after the death of his brother in 1913 and the years when he initiated many changes in the field of photography, would be worth examining in greater detail.
As he approached retirement, Charles no doubt found it increasingly difficult to run a company in such a competitive business, especially in the midst of the Depression. In the end he sold the company and a collection of 400,000 prints and negatives, representing 78 years of photography, to the Associated Screen News. He remained director and vice-president in charge of the studio.