N-1976.3.37 | William Notman and family, Montreal, QC, 1859

William Notman and family, Montreal, QC, 1859
William Notman (1826-1891)
1859, 19th century
Silver salts on paper - Albumen process
7.5 x 7 cm
Gift of Miss Virginia Hase
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  family (800) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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This photograph portrays several members of William Notman's family.

"Photographer to the Queen", William Notman (1826-1891) was the first Canadian photographer to earn an international reputation. Recognized as one of the most influential photographers in North America during the 19th century, William Notman ran seven studios in Canada and another thirteen in the United States.

Born in Paisley, Scotland, William Notman left his homeland in 1856, bringing his family with him to Montreal where he established his first studio. His career as a photographer carried on until his death in 1891.

In this photo, William Notman is pictured standing to the left alongside (from left to right): his wife Alice (1832-1906), pregnant with their daughter Jessie Sloane (1859-1942); his brother James (1849-1932); his mother Janet Sloan (1805-1889); his daughter Frances Elizabeth (1855-1867); his brother Robert (1837-1882); his father William (1805-1867); his son William McFarlane (1857-1913) on the elder William's knee; his sister Margaret (1846-1873); and his brother John (1830-1879).

The photograph appears to have been taken shortly after the arrival of William Notman's father in Montreal on September 2, 1859, and before the birth of his second daughter Jessie on December 2, 1859.