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University Advancement | May 2017

New donation helps change the face of campus

Soldiers in trenches with Leafs’ sweaters

Unknown photographer for the Alexandra Studio. Distributed by the Star Newspaper Service and Times Wide World, Untitled [Members of the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team in the trenches during a military training session], 1939, gelatin silver print. The Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection, Ryerson Image Centre.


We’ll see your Canada 150, and raise you 25,000. Photographs, that is.

As Canadians celebrate our nation’s sesquicentennial, the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) will join in thanks to a promised gift of nearly 25,000 press photographs of Canadian news, events and personalities from the 20th century, drawn from The New York Times Photo Archive.

These extraordinary Canadian images have been promised to the RIC by Toronto-area real estate entrepreneur Chris Bratty. “This collection,” says Bratty, President of Land Development and Investments for The Remington Group, “captures thousands of Canadian stories over the course of the 20th century. It gives me great pleasure to bring it home to Canada, where it can tell those stories to Canadians.”

“The extraordinary gift of the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection further establishes Ryerson and the RIC as a key international repository for significant archives of press photography,” said President Mohamed Lachemi. “The donation is a wonderful addition to our outstanding holdings, which include the celebrated Black Star Collection. It re-confirms Ryerson as one of the world’s leading institutions for the study and research of photographic history and culture.”

The recent arrival of these Canadian photographs provided an ideal opportunity for Ryerson to honour Canada 150 through a new mural on the RIC’s glass façade. The mural now features 14 portraits that celebrate Canada’s history and culture: Margaret Atwood, John Candy, Leonard Cohen, Viola Desmond, Chief Dan George, Wayne Gretzky, Yousuf Karsh, k.d. lang, Marshall McLuhan, Oscar Peterson, Mary Pickford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, David Suzuki, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Canadians—and the many others who will be attracted by the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection—will get their first larger look when The Faraway Nearby opens on September 13 this year. The exhibition, running to December 10, highlights images from the collection of major political events and conflicts, iconic Canadian landscapes, sports heroes, candid reportage on the lives of diverse communities, and notable Canadians.

The Faraway Nearby
is generously supported by TD Bank Group and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF), and is organized by Denise Birkhofer, RIC Collections Curator & Research Centre manager, along with groundbreaking curator, author and educator Gerald McMaster, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture & Curatorial Practice at OCAD University. Don’t miss it.

For more information about how to support Ryerson visit the Ryerson Supporting website.


Timelapse of Spotlight Canada: Faces That Shaped a Nation mural installation at the Ryerson Image Centre.