The Pervasive View: Vintage Prints from the National Geographic Image Collection

Stephen Bulger Gallery is proud to present the first Canadian exhibition of vintage prints from the National Geographic Image Collection archive. The exhibition features over 60 unique vintage black and white prints dating from the earliest days of the Society in the 1880s through the 1940s. Half of these images have never been published or seen outside of the Image Collection archive, housed at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C.

Marshall McLuhan said that while the original purpose of travel was to “encounter the strange and unfamiliar”, photography ‘reverses’ this process by making the strange familiar. National Geographic photographers brought the world home to millions of readers. Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden portrayed the classicized youth of Sicily; Herbert Ponting documented Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole; George Shiras III made the earliest images of wildlife by flash; Joseph Rock led National Geographic research expeditions into China; Alexander Graham Bell made photographs of his flight experiments; Captain Frank Hurley and A. B. Lewis documented the dress of the natives of Papua New Guinea in the 1920s; and geologist Willis Lee photographed the magnificent domes and caves of the desolate Carlsbad Caverns in 1924.

Curated by Stephen Bulger