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- Attributions and conjectures: The photographs are attributed to Hannah Maynard.
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- Maynard, Hannah (Hatherly)
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Name of creator
Hannah Hatherly Maynard (1834-1918) was a well-known photographer, photographic artist and business owner originally from Cornwall, England and based in Victoria, British Columbia. She ran a successful commercial studio photography business, Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery (1862? – 1912) in Victoria on Vancouver Island that was in operation for 50 years.
Hannah married Richard Maynard in 1852 in England and they immigrated to Bowmanville, Ontario. While in Ontario she studied photography, likely with R & H O’Hara of Bowmanville, Photographers, Booksellers, Insurance Agents, Etc. In 1862, Hannah, Richard and their family moved to the Colony of Vancouver Island on the Sierra Nevada. It is believed she opened Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery that same year.
As a photographer she was primarily known for her portrait photography. Throughout her career she created a documentary record of the changing landscape of Victoria and its population as it grew from a small fort settlement to an urban centre. As a portrait photographer, she created likenesses of early inhabitants among them gold miners and sailors. When the studio opened, Fort Victoria had been established by the Hudson’s Bay Company twenty year’s prior, and the Colony of Vancouver Island was barely over a decade years old. In addition, the medium of photography was in its early infancy and only several years since gold was found on the Fraser River on the mainland. During the early 1860s and 1870s, Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery was one of the most prolific creators of carte de visites of First Nations subjects which were popular in and around Victoria during that time, which disseminated a certain depiction of First Nations and Indigenous people to public consumers. Later on in 1897, Mrs. Maynard employed her skills in portraiture in her role as the official photographer for city police forces in Victoria for several years. Upon her retirement, Hannah is quoted in the Victoria Daily Colonist as saying “I think I can say with every confidence that we photographed everyone in the town at one time or another.”
In addition to her portrait photography, Mrs. Maynard’s portfolio of work likely also included other styles of photography. During the 1870s and 1880s, Hannah and Richard took several working trips together where they both practiced landscape photography. This included trips to Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii (then referred to as the Queen Charlotte Islands) and to Banff, Alberta. In the early 1900s, Hannah Maynard supplied ethnographic documentary photographs of Indigenous people of B.C.'s Northwest Coast to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard in the United States.
Mrs. R. Maynard was an artist, as well as a photographer. She was known for producing experimental works that involved photographic techniques such as double and multiple exposures, photo-sculptures, as well as composite and cut-and-paste montage imagery. The "Gems of British Columbia" series features portrait montages of selected children, largely Anglo-European subjects as well as a number of clients from Black and Chinese pioneer families, photographed throughout the year. These were sent as New Year's greeting cards to clients from 1881 until about 1895. In the 1880s, these composite photographs, which sometimes incorporated photo sculptures (also known as “Living Sculptures”) were published annually in the trade publication St. Louis Photographer (also known as St. Louis and Canadian Photographer). She also used landscape views as well as studio portraits as source material for composite works, such as the piece “80 Views on the Frazer River” featuring multiple landscape views identified as the Fraser River, or the blended “documentary” image of a field photograph depicting a view of community village scene and a studio portrait of an Indigenous women. She is also more commonly known for unique autobiographical works, tableaux vivants which employ double and multiple exposure techniques along with the techniques of photo-sculpture, and feature Hannah and other members of the Maynard family.
Over the course of her career, Mrs. R. Maynard received many acknowledgements and praise in Canada and the United States. Early in her career, the Seattle Weekly Pacific Tribune described her as a "leading photographer of Victoria” in 1878. In 1888, The New West of Winnipeg noted: “…her photographic work cannot be excelled for brilliancy of expression and harmony of effect…she is recognized as one of the foremost representatives of the profession in the country.”
During the course of her career, the personal history of Hannah Maynard and her family are closely linked, to both her photographic work and that of her studio. Her children and family are featured in many of her studio portraits, as well as in experimental works. Photographic work created by Hannah and her husband Richard have been attributed to each other in several ways and means. In 1890, Richard Maynard won first prize in the professional class for the Victoria landscape view, "The Arm" by West Shore magazine in October of 1890. This image was later also credited to Hannah Maynard in the publication the St. Louis & Canadian Photographer in November that same year.
Around 1910, Hannah Maynard appears to have disposed of her camera equipment to a photographer identified as “a Chinese photographer named Peter on Government Street”. On September 29, 1912, the Victoria Daily Colonist announced Hannah Maynard’s retirement at the age of 78 and the closure of the studio. The Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery appears to have never reopened. She died at age 84 in 1918 and is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, British Columbia. Her son Albert H. Maynard executed her will.
Scope and content
This series consists of 20 photographs of experimental works of photographer Hannah Maynard (1834-1918) of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery produced by Mrs. R. Maynard between 1880 and 1899. Photographs are attributed to Hannah with a small number of works featuring photographs attributed to Richard or Hannah Maynard. Amongst the earliest photographic works are those “Gems of British Columbia” photocollages produced in the early 1880s. The photographs appear to be produced for the purposes of creating commercial photographic products of and for the clientele of children and family studio portraits, the creation of Maynard autobiographical works using advanced technical photographic skill, and to a lesser extent to showcase the photographic portfolio of the Maynard photographers in the 1880s to 1890s. This series presents a portion of the less conventional and more experimental portfolio of photographer and artist Hannah Maynard of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery during the late 19th century in Victoria, British Columbia within the latter half of Hannah Maynard’s career.
Hannah Maynard was an artist, as well as a photographer. During the 1880s and 1890s, she was known for producing experimental works such as photocollages, composite and montage photographic works in addition to her more conventional portrait photography depicting the "upper echelons of Victoria society." During this period, skills in collodion and gelatin dry processes, in various styles of photography including child and family photography, portraiture and self-portraiture, as well as experimentation and craftmanship in the technical processes of double and multiple exposures and composite photography, cut-and-paste montage, photosculptures (referred to by Hannah Maynard as “living statuaries” or “statuary from life”) and retouching were employed to create these new works in the Maynard portfolio.
During the 1870s and 1880s, Hannah and Richard took several working trips together where they both practiced landscape photography. This included trips to Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii (then referred to as the Queen Charlotte Islands) and to Banff, Alberta.
During the 1880s and 1890s, composite works of a different nature were also produced during this time which fused landscape views, field photographs as well as studio portraits or land-based studio portraits to create blended “documentary” or fabricated images of First Nations and Indigenous peoples.
The Maynard experimental works received acknowledgements, praise and commentary in Canada and the United States from trade publications such as St. Louis Photographer (also known as St. Louis and Canadian Photographer) and The Practical Photographer. The St. Louis Photographer published a work in the “Gems of British Columbia" series in 1886, and in another instance published a dedication in a poem entitled: “Gems of British Columbia 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885.” In the May 1894 issue of The Practical Photographer, praise was given for Hannah Maynard's “Gems” telling its readership: “Mrs. Maynard is celebrated for her new year cards, called the "Gems of British Columbia." We hope to reproduce one of these in an early issue, but in the meantime it may be explained that the card consists of a reduced photograph of all the children taken during the past year. One of these cards is sent to each mother whose child is represented therein. They are very clever productions, and bear evidence of much ability and perseverance.” Although knowledge on double and multiple exposure techniques during the 1880s was available to other photographers in publications such as Scientific American and categorized in articles as “amusing” or “illusive” photography, autobiographical works of Hannah Maynard were viewed more as abnormal by these same outlets. In 1894, when Hannah Maynard sent copies of self-portraits or tableau vivants using double and multiple exposure techniques to St. Louis and the Canadian Photographer these works were seen as “on the freak order, showing Mrs. Maynard in different positions on the same plate.”
As commercial products, experimental works were marketed by the Maynards to promote their photographic portfolio and services. From 1881 until about 1895, the "Gems of British Columbia" works which featured selected children, largely Anglo-European subjects as well as a number of clients from Black and Chinese pioneer families photographed throughout the year were used to market photographic services to existing and potentially future clientele of children and family photography. Some “Gems of British Columbia” works were marketed by Mrs. R. Maynard using the Maynard Studio's second and third studios as evidenced by imprints reflecting addresses “Cor. Douglas & Johnson Sts” and “41 ½ Pandora Avenue Near Douglas Street” on the backs of card mounted prints. In some cases, some multi-image montages featuring landscape views (views sometimes attributed Richard Maynard), were marketed by Richard and Hannah Maynard separately using the Maynard Studio's first and second studios as evidenced by imprints reflecting addresses “Douglass Street” and “Cor. Douglas & Johnson Streets” displayed on card mounts.
Later on experimental works were reproduced and published by other Victoria businesses for their own advertising purposes. Montages featuring works attributed to Richard Maynard were also included in illustrated publications for the city. In one example, a Victoria Illustrated of 1891 featured a number of multi-image photographic montages on various themes of local Victoria and vicinity interests such as Beacon Hill Park, Esquimalt Harbour, the Gorge and “Victoria Arm,” as well as local European organizations, business districts, institutions (Covent School of St. Anne’s, The Victoria Theatre, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital, the Provincial Museum). These were used to aid the promotion of the City of Victoria in the Province of British Columbia “–its resources, terminal advantages, general industries and climate of Victoria, the ‘Queen City’ and its tributary country.” This version was published by “Ellis & Co., ‘The Colonist’” in 1891.
By the 1890s, the Maynard family had experienced the loss of members of their immediate and extended family. Hannah's daughter Laura Lillian Maynard had died in the early 1880s, daughter Emma Macdonald nee Maynard and daughter-in-law Adelaide Maynard died in the 1890s.
This series consists of 20 collodion and gelatin dry glass plate negatives in 5x8, 6.5x8.5, 8x10 and 10x12 inch sized plates. The bulk of the images are photographs of photographic works. The works represent examples of Hannah Maynard of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery infant, child and baby studio portraiture and portraiture clientele, compositions of field photographs and landscape views of British Columbia and North America attributed to the Maynards and taken on various photographic work trips, as well as studio-based autobiographical works featuring the Maynard family and Hannah Maynard in tableau vivants and self-portraits using double and multiple exposures, photo-sculpture as well as other photographic techniques. There does not appear to be associated photograph numbers for the original negatives identified on plates or in the visual information in the photograph. There are captions and dates within some of the “Gems of British Columbia” works. The photographer’s name can be found stamped or printed within the individual photographs featured in one of the montage works featured here (J-04573).
There are eight “Gems of British Columbia” photocollages represented in MS-3380. They are attributed to be the “Gems” for the years 1880, 1885, 1890, 1891, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896. There are three works that have several alternate versions. These alternate versions differ by photographic process (collodion vs. gelatin dry plate negative), nature of annotations or embellishment to the work, or the angle of the camera when documenting the collage. In some cases, a studio background is visible, as are instruments holding the framed work up to be photographed. “Gems” contain similar design elements including cropped versions of studio portraits of infants, babies and children in various sizes. Within the portraits of children, props and studio settings are sometimes included in the design and composition and are visible. Some contain complete or partial “Gems” from previous years. Some contain cropped figures from photo-sculptures within the composition of the work. Other examples of Maynard’s portfolio of work are included in some of the “Gems” and are not limited to studio portraiture (e.g. outdoor photographs of Maynard family members cycling). Portraits and photographs of people in these works represent a selection of Hannah Maynard of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery’s infant, child and baby studio portraiture clientele, the bulk of which represent largely Anglo-European individuals and families, as well as individuals and families from Black and Chinese pioneer families to a lesser extent. For an example of the representation of children from Black pioneer families in Hannah Maynard's “Gems of British Columbia” series, see the “Gem” attributed to 1896 featured in this series. Members of the Maynard family are also represented. In some cases, Hannah Maynard appears as a tiny cut-out on the outskirts of a photocollage work.
Also in this series, works representing Maynard autobiographical works consist of five tableau vivants (8x10 inch plates) and two self-portraits of Hannah Maynard (5x8 inch plates) as gelatin dry or collodion glass plate negatives. These composite works are composed of several photographed merged together to form a single work. Tableau vivants feature Hannah and other Maynard family members (living and deceased) and depict various domestic scenes within a Victorian parlor setting. Hannah's daughter Laura Lillian Maynard, Emma Macdonald nee Maynard, daughter-in-law Adelaide Maynard and grandson Maynard Macdonald are featured in several of the works, represented as photosculptures and studio props (of studio portraits and other commercial photographic products used to adorn of domestic interiors such as cushions) within tableaux compositions (J-04565, J-04567, J-04568). Studio elements such as studio flooring (rose pattern), curtains, lighting, props and/or artificial backdrop attributed to Mrs. R. Maynard's Photographic Gallery are visible. Many of the tableau vivants and self-portraits do contain evidence of manipulation on the surface of the negatives. There are touch ups within the areas of the facial features, dominantly on Hannah Maynard, which results in the visual reduction of wrinkles on her face.
Finally, there are two different multi-image montages included in MS-3380 and are attributed to Hannah Maynard. These works, both gelatin dry glass plate negatives (8x10 inch plates), are part of a number of montages created in the 1880s and 1890s. Both works depict how they have been physically composed (puttied together or nailed in close proximity) to form a single work and photographed. Field photography and landscape works included in the compositions relate to photographs taken by the Maynards produced during different photographic trips taken throughout their photographic careers. Views likely represent scenes in British Columbia in the 1860s and 1880s, in Alberta in the 1880s, in Alaska or the Pribilof Islands taken between 1870s and 1890s, along with other views that encompass First Nation and Indigenous traditional territories and colonial settlements. Landscape views contain information about geographical features and natural resources such as mountains ranges and passes, rivers, creeks and lakes, seal habitats (Alaska/ Pribilof Islands), specific geographical formations such as “Lady Franklin Rock, Fraser River,” and along with parks that appear to be recorded such as National Park (Banff). Photographs also include views of wagon roads, steamers and views of the Fraser River and interior B.C. region likely produced by the Maynards or other photographers (Frederick Dally or Louis A. Blanc) documenting Barkerville, the Cariboo and the Cariboo Roads in British Columbia during the period before and after the Fraser River gold rush of the 1860s. Photographs also include views of railroad stations, bridge and trestle construction, pathways and routes, in addition to views of colonial settlements such as Kamloops, likely produced during the Maynards documentation of the Canadian Pacific Railway construction in British Columbia and Alberta in the 1880s. There are also photographs with field photographs that document the presence of Indigenous lifeways including fishing activities, with views of fishing stations, on the Fraser River (J-04572). In one of the montage works featured in this series (J-04573), many of the individual photographs contained in the photograph are identified as works by Mrs. R. Maynard in this instance.
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Items are in the public domain.
A small number of photographs may contain culturally sensitive information. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the use, reproduction, and publication status of this record.
Published articles from trade publications including the St. Louis Photographer/St. Louis and Canadian Photographer and The Practical Photographer relating to works in Hannah Maynard’s “Gems of British Columbia" series or her works using double and multiple exposure techniques are available at the University of Victoria Libraries, the University of British Columbia Libraries and the Simon Fraser University Libraries. The Practical Photographer is available at Library and Archives Canada.
For carte de visite photographic albums and original Maynard prints relating to the studio portraits of children of Black pioneer families who are represented in some of the “Gems of British Columbia" works in this series, see the Saanich Pioneer Society Archives. Studio portraits relating to children featured in other “Gems of British Columbia" works not represented here (e.g. the “Gem” attributed to 1883) are also available. Some of the Black pioneer families are identified in the Saanich Pioneer Society Archives albums as the Alexander, Barnswell and Spotts families. These albums are identified as SPA 897 and SPA 896.
For materials relating to the “Gems of British Columbia" series, additional private record collections contain a number of original prints (as single prints or prints included in photographic albums) for some works featured and not featured in this series. See the Todd, Gillespie family fonds for the work attributed to be the “Gems of British Columbia" for 1883 (HP054838) and 1887 (HP054839). Described as PR-2005. Additionally, the Maynard family collection holds an album print of the “Gem” for 1885 (see MS-2951) and album prints of the “Gem” for 1882 and 1883 (see MS-3361) in PR-1259. Uncropped studio portraits of infant, baby and youth portraits featured in the "Gems of British Columbia" works are available as prints in the sample studio album MS-3361. There are also uncropped prints of several of the “Statuary from Life” photo sculpture works that appear in some “Gems” in MS-3380, as well as other photo sculpture works. Finally, the Newcombe Family fonds holds a print of the “Gem” for 1880 (HP93180) and another undated work in the series. There are also alternative card mounted print versions for photographic studio portraits of individuals and groups of babies, children, youth from the Maynard family as well as other families marketed by Hannah and Richard Maynard (see files 451 to 504, box 14 and 15). Original prints (including card mounted and unmounted works) may also have annotations or research notes on the front or verso of the item. (see MS-2964 in PR-0356).
For materials relating to multi-image montages, the Maynard family collection includes several photograph albums of interest. The album described as MS-3328 contains larger versions prints with album and image captions of some of the field photographs and landscape works included in J-04572 in this series, as well as alternative views of the same photographic subject (e.g. of “Lady Franklin Rock, Fraser River, B.C.”).The family album described as MS-2951 - My Automobile Trips/Lillian E Maynard includes an unmounted print version of J-04572 that includes the caption “Some of the Many Scenes of British Columbia by R. Maynard” (see PR-1259). Finally, the Newcombe Family fonds holds other examples of multi-image montages not featured in this series, There are several card mounted prints of works marketed by Mrs. R. Maynard and R. Maynard (see box 15, file 505, 506 and 507). This includes two commemorative card mounted prints in file 505 that contain stamps from the “Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886.” Prints in these files contain cards with the following imprints: “R. Maynard, Photographic Artist and Dealer in All Kinds of Photographic materials Stereoscopic and Large Views of British Columbia and Vancouver Island for Sale Cor. Douglas & Johnson Streets, Victoria, and B.C.” (file 505); stamp “R. MAYNARD, Photo” (file 506); and imprint “Mrs. R. Maynard, Photographic Artiste, Douglass Street, Victoria, V.I., B.C.” (file 507). (see MS-2964 in PR-0356).
There are also “Gems of British Columbia" series works and multi-image montages in the BC Archives Photograph Collection. For a print of the montage in this series (J-04572) mounted on wood and described as“80 Views on the Frazer[sic] River" see HP17979. There is also HP087660/B-04967. For print (some card mounted) versions of the “Gems of British Columbia” works in this series, see HP093678. For other works not featured in this series, see HP93160, HP093161, HP093170, HP093679 and F-05091.
For photographs relating to Mrs. R. Maynard’s spiritual life, the Newcombe Family fonds contains several photographs of a gathering, including a stereograph card identified on the mount as “Spiritualist picnic, Cordova Bay” (see MS-2964 in PR-0356).