333 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3G9

NANITCH: Early Photographs of British Columbia from the Langmann Collection

A co-production with the University of British Columbia Library. Curated by Heather Caverhill, Helga Pakasaar and Tania Willard.


Opening reception | Saturday, March 19, 7 pm

NANITCH offers the first look into a collection of over 18,000 photographs recently donated to the UBC Library by Vancouver’s Uno Langmann family. The exhibition includes diverse photographic material — hand-coloured albumen prints, cartes de visite, stereocards and photogravures — from the 1860s to the early twentieth century, highlighting changes in photography. The significant role of the camera in colonization is suggested by the exhibition title, NANITCH, meaning to look and watch in Chinook Jargon — a trade language common in the Pacific Northwest. Disrupting standard colonialist narratives, the contradictions of settlement are emphasized. Early photographic albums documenting official expeditions, family portraits, industrial ventures and the short-lived utopic community of Walhachin are in dialogue with evidence of difficulties and failure. The exhibition, offering new interpretations of the early history of the province, will be accompanied by an illustrated publication.

  • Richard Maynard, stereograph card, University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, UL_1084_4