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- Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.
- 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 also included other styles of photography. During the 1870s and 1880s, Hannah and Richard took several working trips together where they both practiced photography in the field. 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 African American 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 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.
Found in BC Archives in 2008. Records in this series appear to have been part of a large purchase of Maynard glass plate negatives by the Provincial Government and the Provincial Library and Archives from Albert H. Maynard in the early 1930s. Albert H. Maynard is the son of photographers Hannah and Richard Maynard of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery.
Some photographs in this series appear to have been previously housed in the Legislative Library before being transferred to the Visual Records Department, BC Archives in 1974 (see J-04729, J-04730, J-04731, J-04732).
Scope and content
This series consists of 56 nineteenth century photographs of individuals and groups taken between the 1874 and 1916. The bulk of the photographs are attributed to Hannah Maynard (1834-1918) of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery (1862?-1912), produced by Maynard for the purpose of fulfilling photographic orders of individual, group and family photography for studio clientele at the last two studio locations of the Maynard Studio business. The studio portraits document a sample spectrum of the Victoria population during post-confederation era in Fort Victoria in the Colony of Vancouver Island (now the city of Victoria in the province of British Columbia). This series also present a portion of the conventional studio portraiture of photographer and artist Hannah Maynard during the late 19th century and early 20th century in Victoria, British Columbia within the mid-to-final half of Mrs. R. Maynard’s career.
Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery served a spectrum of the Victoria population through the course of the studio’s history. Clients included temporary visitors such as: gold miners and sailors; pioneer individuals and families including those of Anglo-European, Indigenous, African American (including the Alexander and Spotts families), Caribbean (Barnswell family), and Chinese heritage; members of the colonial government and their families such as Victoria mayors John Grant and Charles Redfern; members of Indigenous governments from Indigenous territories in British Columbia and Vancouver Island such as Tsimshian Chief Arthur Wellington Clah); members of the Royal Navy; as well as the Maynard family themselves.
It is estimated that Arthur S. Rappertie (1854?-1923) worked for Hannah Maynard in the 1870s to early 1900s as either her assistant or photographer. Nicholas Herman Hendricks (1869-1946) was also employed by Hannah Maynard for a period. In addition, Maynard family members were involved with the family business including Albert Hatherly Maynard (1857-1934). Albert H. was the son of Hannah and Richard Maynard, who eventually managed their photographic stock after their retirement and operated his own photographic business over the course of his adult life. 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” according to her probate.
Studio portraits were proudly displayed in both the Maynard Studio’s interior and exterior windows to current and prospective clients. Portraits of Asian clientele were showcased alongside non-Asian sitters in interior views of the Maynard Studio’s location at Pandora Street. In the course of the Maynard Studio’s history, although it appears that the majority of individual and group studio portraits were marketed by Mrs. R. Maynard, in fact both Hannah and her husband Richard Maynard marketed studio portraits.
During the 1880s and 1890s, the Maynard Studio offered a range of options for commercial studio portraits in print format. This included customization, retouching, colour embellishments, as well as mounting and framing. Embellishments included colour enhancements such as hand-toning or designs such as botanically inspired motifs encircling the sitter. One could customize a print by adding a name or special phrase in the case of portraits for children and youth. Frame design for individual and group portraits could include a mounted photograph on a variety of colour cards (pink, forest green, tan or crème) with the photographer’s imprint in gold or other coloured type. In the case of baby, child and youth photography, portraits could be featured in elaborate frames or other objects (such as painted horseshoes). For individual portraits, an embellished border design could feature the illusion of the curled corners of a print. Most card mounted prints included an embossed Maynard stamp on the front or one of several Maynard imprints on the verso of the print.
During the last three decades of the 19th century, in addition to her more conventional portrait photography Hannah Maynard was known for producing experimental works such as photocollages, composite and montage photographic works, particularly during the 1880s and 1890s. Tableau vivants often featured similar or the same studio accessories as her conventional portrait photography depicting individuals, groups and families. In some cases, studio portraits were used to create composite or altered studio portraits or blended “documentary” images in her photography of children and adults. These were in addition to the composite works that featured studio portraits of some of her Indigenous sitters to create popular faux imagery of Indigenous people and communities. In earlier years, field portraits produced in a land-based studio by Richard Maynard during his photographic tour with colonial government officials to inspect Indigenous settlements in British Columbia in the early 1870s, were also marketed and sold as photographic commodities (cartes de visite) by Hannah. These images proudly promoted Mrs. R. Maynard’s name and services through her imprint on the verso of the card prints.
Along with being collected by individuals, families and organizational groups, conventional portraits were reproduced and published by a host of other Victoria area businesses and organizations for their own purposes. In 1900, the Methodist Recorder published a studio portrait taken at the Maynard Studio of a sitter identified as Chan Sui in an article titled “Chan Sui or Our Chinese Christians and the Sabbath.” Studio portraits attributed to Hannah Maynard were included in illustrated promotional publications for the city, including a group photograph with Mayor John Grant in Victoria Illustrated published in 1891.
The photographs consist of 56 collodion and gelatin dry glass plate negatives in 5.5x7, 6.5x4.5, 6.5x8.5, 8x10 and 10x12 inch sized plates. Virtually no negatives contain image captions or photographers name, signature or imprint. There does not appear to be dates and nor photograph numbers for the original negatives identified on plates or in the emulsion of the negative. There are no captions noting the identity of an individual or groups of people in the image or adhered to the glass plates.
The majority of the portrait styles reflected in this series are group portraits documenting babies, youth, young adults and adults in full-length likenesses, a portion of a larger portfolio of individual and group portraits representing the Maynard Studio clientele (likely Maynard’s clientele of child and family portraiture). To a lesser extent, there are portraits of individuals, mostly adult sitters. There are photographs of Victorian families including what appears to be the Maynard family, the Redfern family (J-04731), the Harris family (J-04736) and others, as well as several unidentified non-family groups (J-04773) depicted in a range of plain and scenic Maynard Studio settings. Amongst the latter, there are several unidentified groups including a group of youth and adult men (J-04742) and a group of women and girls (J-04739). There is also a set of 14 individual portraits of the crew of the S.S. City of Kingston with “P.S. & S.S. Co.” identified on uniforms of the sitters. There are also a small number of bust and mid-length depictions of studio clientele (J-04784), and several individual portraits of children (J-04766, J-04808) which represent a small section of a larger portfolio of baby, child and youth studio portraits photographed at the Maynard Studio.
Regarding Maynard family members, Hannah and Richard Maynard are featured in both individual and group photographs. Other Maynard family members appear to be represented in group studio photographs including the family of A.H. Maynard (1857-1934) and potentially his second wife Violet Mabel Maynard (nee Graham) (J-04809 and J-04810), as well as the family of George Maynard (1852-1926 or 1927) and Mary Elizabeth Maynard (nee Davies) (J-04772). Some photographs are conventional individual or group portraits set in simple studio settings or elaborate studio scenes. Some individual or group portraits depict specific settings such as game hunting (J-04780, J-04771), or represent sitters in their occupations (Richard Maynard with camera in J-04782 or Albert Maynard in his role as a taxidermist in J-04781), or in their private life homesteading or gardening (J-04783). There is also a single portrait (bust) of Hannah Maynard (J-04784).
The bulk of the non-Maynard family photographs depict individual and groups perceived to be of Anglo-European heritage including the Redfern family. There are a small number of group portraits depicting clientele perceived to be of East Asian or Chinese heritage (J-04743, J-04735, J-04739) potentially representing prominent business owners, groups affiliated with an organization or family units. This includes a group portrait (J-04735) of four children and one adult sitter wearing Asian garments depicted in a parlor scene. The young sitters in this portrait appear to have been cropped, reduced and featured in the photocollage series known as the “Gems of British Columbia” in a work attributed to the year 1892 (see HP093683/F-06723).There is also one group photograph depicting nine young and adult women perceived as Chinese or Asian heritage surrounding one women perceived as Anglo-European posed with a photograph in hand. They are all situated against backdrop of an elaborate parlor scene (J-04739).
The 14 individual portraits identified as representing the P.S. & S.S. Co. contain portraits for individuals whose positions are identified as captain, assistant engineer (2), 1st officer, purser, chief steward, quartermaster, chief engineer, night clerk, bar tender, and U.S. customs [agent]. There is one individual portrait of a woman without identifying information as to their status on the vessel, likely the S S City of Kingston, and two alternative likenesses of the captain and one of the assistant engineers.
Studio scenes employ a variety of studio accessories in the tradition of 19th-century photographic portraiture. There are props (e.g. fans, books, scrolls, farming and hunting tools, preserved birds and animals, binoculars and sometimes photographic products such as albums or print photographs), plain or scenic backdrops (some painted –such as homesteads, coastal harbours, rural countrysides or elaborate parlor or interior scenes), curtains, a variety of studio flooring (e.g. carpets, floor tiling and rugs), screens, decorative chairs and tables, as well as props for children (e.g. rocking horse) which illustrate the options likely available to customers at the last two of the Maynard Studio locations.
The photographs showcase uncropped studio portraits, which contain additional information about Maynard clientele or Maynard Studio portrait facilities than represented in cropped photographic prints. This is particularly the case in portraits depicting wider views (see J-04730, J-04732, J-04736, J-04737, J-04741, J-04742, J-04771, J-04772, J-04786 and J-04805). In these instances, multiple flooring treatments (such as floor tiling, carpets or fur rugs), multiple scenic backdrops (visible in the foreground or background), Mrs. R. Maynard’s devices used for lighting techniques (such as studio windows, large lighting panels or tents) (see J-04736, J-04742, J-04743, J-04770, J-04772) or other photographic apparatus, such as standing head rests featured in many portraits in this series (J-04743), are visible. Some of the studio backgrounds used in portraits in this series were also used in other works in the Maynard portfolio including child and baby portraiture, Maynard experimental works (tableau vivants) or Provincial Museum natural history collection dioramas (exhibits).
Many of the photographs (both collodion and gelatin dry negatives) have been manipulated, with retouching visible on the facial features (e.g. cheeks, temples, pupils of the eyes, hair, neck and hands) of the sitters, affecting the visibility of a sitter’s appearance or age (e.g. wrinkles on face and hands, blemishes in the skin, fullness of hair, etc.). In rare instances, retouching is visible outlining props or other studio accessories (J-04808). Some works contain a layer of paper on the surface of the negative (J-04745, J-04806) or around the corners of the plate.
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Copyright : BC Archives
Items are in the public domain.
For photographs reflecting Indigenous clients of the Maynard Studio, such as a studio portrait described as “Captain Jack, Chief of the Rupert Indians with his wife” see 3195153 in the Clive Farahar collection held at Library and Archives Canada. Access is available online through Library and Archives Canada online catalogue.
The United Church of Canada, BC Conference Archives in Vancouver holds the Oriental Home and School fonds. Available records include a register of residents (1880s-1940s), resident files (1890s-1940s) and the Oriental Home and School album (early 1900s-1910s), along with other relevant records. For photographs reflecting the Chinese Rescue Home (also known as the Oriental Home and School), the album features a Maynard Studio print described as "Mr. and Mrs. Mah Yim, married in Home..." (see OHS_2004-0275-81). A fonds description is available via MemoryBC online. Selected photographs from the album are digitally available at Oriental Home and School Photos Online.
For interior and exterior views of the Maynard Studio at Douglas, Johnston and Pandora Street locations in Victoria, see the BC Archives Photograph Collection See photographs HP06993, HP057187 and HP057188 for exterior views attributed to be the Douglas and Johnson street location and HP057186, HP093197 and HP057189 for exterior and interior views attributed to be of the Pandora street location. In this collection, there are card mounted prints including stereoviews. In some cases, views of displays of studio portraits are visible and include portraits of Mrs. R. Maynard’s Asian clientele, amoung other clients, in interior views of the Maynard Studio’s location at Pandora Street (see HP093197). The collection also holds a small number of Maynard photographs depicting buildings (including the Methodist Chinese Mission) and events in Victoria’s Chinatown. For examples see HP068811/D-05666, HP093727/F-06763, HP057247/C-05465 and HP068807/C-05467.
The BC Archives Photograph Collection also holds card mounted studio portraits including many other studio portraits not featured in this series. For Maynard Studio portraits of other individuals and groups of Asian heritage, including those featured in interior views of the Maynard Studio’s location at Pandora Street, see F-05112/HP093278 described as “Ah Foo, Charles Frederic Newcombe’s cook” and HP093284/F-05109 described as “Chan Sui in native Chinese costume.” See also the group portrait described as “Japanese fishing crew rescued in the China Sea by the barque, 'Tiger'; these men are believed to be the first Japanese in Victoria” (HP043072/B-08405). For examples of print enlargements marketed by R. Maynard, see HP002658. In some cases, Maynard prints in this collection contain information to identify the sitter(s) or the name of the collector or donor from inscriptions, captions or annotations located on the front or verso of the prints. Maynard imprints frequently feature on the verso of prints.
Additional private record collections contain Maynard prints of studio portraits, as well as family photographic albums representing more examples of Maynard portraiture.
The Newcombe family fonds (PR-0356) in MS-2964-Photographs and sketches contains studio portraits including: several card mounted prints depicting portraits of sitters of Asian heritage marketed by Mrs. R. Maynard not featured in this series (see box 12, file 378 and file 404); a small number of portraits depicting sitters of other ethnicities (see box 13, file 444; box 13, file 429); members of the Christian clergy (see box 11, file 370 –identified as “Bishop Seegers”); members of the Maynard family including Hannah and Richard Maynard (see box 13, file 427; box 13, file 430; box 13, file 433; box 12, file 386; box 15, file 493). Many portraits do not contain information (in inscriptions, captions or annotations) to determine the identity of the sitter Maynard imprints often feature on the verso of prints. This collection and series includes several examples of studio portraits marketed by R. Maynard (see box 11, file 355 - identified as "Joe Higgenson/Sir Joseph George Elmore Higgenson"). There is also an example of a Maynard Studio studio portrait (box 12, file 380) marketed by Mrs. R. Maynard with a studio backdrop that was also used in creating Provincial Museum natural history dioramas (see J-04118 in MS-3373). The Maynard family collection (PR-1259) holds Maynard family photograph albums featuring many studio portraits of Maynard family members along with other sitters (see MS-3361, MS-3362, MS-3363, MS-3364). MS-3361 described as “Photographic Album of Mrs. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery” contains Maynard Studio examples of 19th century infant, baby, child and youth studio portraiture, as well as hand-toned prints, mounting and framing techniques and options for customized or personalized prints. Sitters here include Maynard family members as well as members of prominent Victoria settler families identified as the Redfern, Harris, Wallis, Green, [Gamble] and Macdonald families. MS-3362 described as “Photograph Album of the Maynard family” contains examples of lighting techniques known as split or side lighting on individual portraits of women. MS-3364 described as “Photograph Album of the Maynard family” contains other examples of cartes de visite and cabinet cards, as well as gem sized prints, some of which are hand-toned or hand painted.
For comparable client records that relate to customers of the Maynard Studio, see the handwritten studio register created within the last twenty years of operation (MS-3325 described as “Studio register of Mrs. R. Maynard's Photographic Gallery, 1891 – 1899”). Information primarily consists of documentation relating to portrait orders over an eight year period. Customers perceived to be of Chinese heritage feature regularly within the approximately 5,000 entries of the Maynard Studio register produced in the 1890s (ca. 1891-1899). For examples of client records, see the entries for "Chief Sheppard and family," “A Japanese, J Adachi,” “Ah Noon” (register page number 119), “CM Lee Hoo” (register page number 50), “6 C.M. Ah Hoye” (register page number 79), “CM & C Lady” (register page number 93), “Mr. Redfern’s 3 children” (register page number 119), “Tie Sue, Chinaman” (register page number 209), “2 Chinaman” (register page number 233), “China Ladies” (register page number 217), “George Alexander” of the HMS Ship Nymphe. The register also documents the orders of portrait clients with residences noted as at or near the naval base in the neighbouring community of Esquimalt. Locations such as the dockyard, naval yard or barracks appear listed in the record, as well as the names of British warships that visited the base not limited to: Egeria, Leander, Icarus, Imperieuse, Pheasant and Wild Swan. Many of these client entries are located near the rear of the register.
Both general and private record collections contain a number of examples of composite or altered studio portraits marketed by both Hannah and Richard Maynard. The BC Archives Photograph Collection contains a studio portrait of a young boy with a paddle in hand described as “A.J. O'Reilly” (see HP050137/F-07563), as well as the same studio portrait set against a landscape view described as “A.J. (Jack) O'Reilly, youngest son of Peter and Caroline O'Reilly” (see HP050133). There are also several card mounted composite photographs depicting the studio portraits of the crew of the S.S. Kingston featured in this series but matched with a view of the vessel (see HP000647/G-01187). One of these photographs appears to have been marketed by Richard Maynard. The Newcombe family fonds (PR-0356) contains a composite of 70+ studio portraits (busts) identified as “Pioneers of B.C.” marketed by Mrs. R. Maynard in MS-2964-Photographs and sketches (see box 13, file 416). Another variation of this work contains 40+ portraits and includes the caption “B.C. Pioneers, Mrs. R. Maynard, Photo” (see box 13, file 417, I-51985). Both feature the governor of the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia James Douglas amoung others.
For the “Gems of British Columbia” photocollage attributed to 1892 or 1893 that features an edited version of the group portrait (young sitters only) featured in this series (J-04735), see the BC Archives Photograph Collection (see HP093683/F-06723). For more examples of the “Gems of British Columbia” photocollages that employ predominately infant, baby and youth portraiture, see MS-3380 in PR-1259.
For reference materials containing other portraits and photographs of individuals, groups or families featured in this series, including the Maynard, Redfern and Harris families or individuals such as Miss Bowes, see the BC Archives general files collection (“Gen files”). Files on Chinese or Asian individuals, groups or families are less represented here. Family names can be located by surname, as sometimes subject (e.g. "Oriental"). Files include reproduction of photographs from a variety of original sources with links to internal image numbers (BC Archives archive codes and related reference codes). Many items are duplicates from the BC Archives Photograph Collection and other archival collections.
The Maynard Studio had several locations over the course of its history, most notably operations at Douglas, Johnston and Pandora Streets in Victoria. After the first location, Mrs. R. Maynard’s Photographic Gallery shared the premises with Richard Maynard’s boot and shoe business.
From 1874, the studio had moved to a location on Douglas and Johnston streets and was inhabited until 1892. Between 1892 to 1912, the Maynard Studio operated out of a location on Pandora Street in Victoria.
In some cases, this series contains negatives formerly housed in original negative boxes. Some of these boxes include handwritten descriptions written directly on the box. See item level record for more information.
One box of these boxes also contained a Maynard business label adhered to the front with the following information: "From Albert H. Maynard. Successor to R. Maynard. Photographic Supplies. 715 Pandora St. Victoria, B.C."