MHC Gallery and the Canadian Mennonite University: Mennonite Village Photography, June 24 - September 10

MHC Gallery: Mennonite Village Photography, June 14 – September 10

Mennonite Historic Arts Committee presents Mennonite Village Photography: Views from Manitoba, 1890-1940

June 24 – September 10, 2022

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday, 12 – 5 pm

Opening Event: Friday, June 24 at 7:30 PM

This exhibit features a beautiful collection of never-before-seen photographs left behind by four Manitoba Mennonite photographers who lived and worked in the early twentieth century. The images are from glass and film negatives stored in institutional archives and family collections. After being scanned and given a new life in print, the photos provide a clear view into Mennonite life and early settlement in Manitoba.

- Mennonite Historic Arts Committee

The 20th century marked a new era in art history: portraits of loved ones were suddenly accessible to working-class families and these cherished images were shared widely as albums and post cards; elucidating stories of families near and far. The indexical nature of the photograph freezes time, creating a fingerprint of a moment and locking an uncanny likeness in sensitized silver, affording viewers a unique view of the past.

The Mennonite Historic Arts Committee has transposed these individual memories and placed them upon the gal­lery walls; simultaneously shifting individual, personal narratives to an act of public remembering. As viewers, we glimpse the context of this time and place: photographers working within cultural contexts in rural Manitoba; im­age-makers moving from the formality of the Victorian portrait studio to explore vernacular, "snapshot" moments.

Indeed, these photographs from Mennonite villages at the turn of the century echo the development of the photo­graphic medium itself, at once a statement of technological novelty, aesthetic expression, documentary tool, and mnemonic device. I hope you will visit the gallery in-person, to search out clues of the historical context hidden within the images and to witness as these image-makers tip toe, carefully, towards an era of modernity.

- Sarah Hodges-Kolisnyk, curator, MHC Gallery

MHC Gallery

610 Shaftesbury Blvd.

Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2