One of Canada’s earliest professional women photographers, Hannah Maynard (1834–1918) was acclaimed within her lifetime for her sophisticated use of experimental techniques, such as photomontage and multiple exposures. Throughout her career in Victoria, British Columbia, Maynard boldly referred to herself as a “photographic artist”—a title she used both to market her practice and to highlight the unique and groundbreaking technical quality of her work. At a time when few women were working professionally with cameras or in a studio, Maynard broke the mould with her business acumen and boundless creativity.


In Hannah Maynard: Life & Work, Elizabeth Anne Cavaliere shines a light on Maynard’s innovative work with the camera, detailing the artist’s masterful take on portraiture—from her “trick” photographs and tableaux vivants to her work as an ethnographic photographer and her commissions from the Victoria Police Department. The first comprehensive look at Maynard’s career, this essential book examines the role of women photographers in Canada at the turn of the century and unpacks Maynard’s creative legacy with a critical eye to her role in shaping the cultural history of the nation.


“Hannah Maynard’s photographic practice was all-consuming and seeped into almost every facet of her life: her professional livelihood; leisurely bike rides; cottage excursions with her family; her relationships with her husband, children, and grandchildren; and her sensibilities about life and death. It is unique to have such a full visual record of one’s life and community as we have with Hannah Maynard.”Elizabeth Anne Cavaliere


Born in Cornwall, England, Maynard and her husband, Richard, immigrated to Canada in 1853, settling first in Bowmanville (a small but growing town on the northern shore of Lake Ontario) before making their way out west. In 1862, the Maynards arrived in Victoria—a frontier town filled with prospectors and miners eager to strike it rich from the gold rush. Within a year, Maynard established her own portrait studio, an endeavour she successfully ran for more than forty years. As her practice expanded, so too did her clientele, and her oeuvre reflects a diverse cross-section of Victoria’s immigrant and Indigenous populations.


About the author
Elizabeth Anne Cavaliere is an instructor at the OCAD University, where she teaches Canadian art history with a focus on photographic and institutional histories. The granddaughter of Italian immigrants, Cavaliere is a settler Canadian residing in Toronto/Tkaronto. Her writings on tourist views, instructed looking, survey photography, railroad bridges, photographic directories, royals riding timber slides, and giant mounds of ice have been published in journals such as Environmental History, Journal of Canadian Studies, Histoire sociale / Social History, Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, RACAR: Revue d’art canadienne / Canadian Art Review, and Journal of Canadian Art History.

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