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William Notman

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William Notman

Canadian, (1826–1891)
William Notman was a Scottish-Canadian photographer and businessman. His first important commission was the documentation of the construction of the Victoria Bridge across the St. Lawrence River. The bridge opened with great fanfare in 1860, attended by the Prince of Wales and Notman's camera. The gift to the prince of a maple box containing Notman's photographs of the construction of the bridge and scenes of Canada East and Canada West so pleased Queen Victoria that, according to family tradition, she named him "Photographer to the Queen." The first Canadian photographer with an international reputation, Notman's status and business grew over the next three decades. He established branches throughout Canada and the United States, including seasonal branches at Yale and Harvard universities to cater to the student trade. Notman was also an active member of the Montreal artistic community, opening his studio for exhibitions by local painters; the studio also provided training for aspiring photographers and painters. Notman was highly regarded by his colleagues for his innovative photography, and held patents for some of the techniques he developed to recreate winter within the studio walls.

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