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A black-and-white image of a man wearing a black hat sitting on the side of a mountain. The image is repeated side by side
Fig. 1

H. C. White Company, Charming Paradise Valley and colossal Mt. Temple (11637 ft.) from the Saddleback, Alberta, Can., ca. 1903. Two gelatin silver prints mounted on card. Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Ryerson Image Centre announces recipients of 2015 Research Fellowships and the acquisition of the Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass Collection

Mar. 25, 2015

As part of the fourth Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) symposium, the RIC is pleased to share two major announcements related to its research program: the recipients of the 2015 research fellowship program, and the acquisition of the Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass Collection of 19th and early 20th century photography.

This year’s RIC symposium, Photography Historians: A New Generation?, brings together emerging scholars in dialogue with prominent academics to highlight the most current research in the history of photography. The Symposium is free and open to the public, and takes place March 26 – 28, 2015 at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts. 

The 2015 RIC Research Fellows

The Nadir Mohamed Postdoctoral Fellowship, new in 2015, has been awarded to Dr. Heather Diack, an Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami.

The Doina Popescu Research Fellowship, named in honour of the RIC’s founding director, has been presented at the PhD level to Dorothea Scho?ne, a Berlin-based art historian and curator.

The Howard Tanenbaum Research Fellowship, named in honour of the founding chair of the RIC’s Advisory Board, has been awarded at the Master’s level to Lisa Yarnell of Ryerson University’s Master’s of Art program in Film and Photographic Preservation and Collections Management.

The Elaine Ling Research Fellowship, endowed by Toronto artist Elaine Ling, has been awarded at the Master’s level to Rowan Lear, who holds an MFA Photography from Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales.

The 2015 fellows will have the opportunity to study select areas of the RIC’s photography collections first-hand. These include the acclaimed Black Star Collection of photo-reportage, with over a quarter- million prints spanning the 20th century; historic and fine art photography collection; and several archives devoted to the life and work of a diverse group of photographers, including Werner Wolff, Jo Spence, Wendy Snyder MacNeil and the newly acquired Berenice Abbott Collection. And now, that research opportunity extends to include the remarkable Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass Collection.

Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass Collection

Generously donated by Gail Silverman Bass of London, Ontario, the Bass Collection is comprised of nearly 3,000 photographic objects from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including stereographs; stereographic viewers; photographic prints; photographically-illustrated books; and pop-photographica (3-D decorative objects adorned with photography, such as jewelry, handbags, or other curios).

The origin of this collection lies with the late Dr. Martin Bass’ interest in historical stereography as a tool for educating and training medical professionals. Built over many decades, the Bass’ also collected many exemplary works that represent their interest in the photographic medium and tell the story of Canadian history and life from east to west, from the old French forts in Louisburg, Nova Scotia to the Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Vancouver, British Columbia. The collection provides an unparalleled opportunity for in-depth research and scholarship into stereography and its cultural contexts.

This acquisition joins and greatly enriches the RIC’s holdings of photography surveying the history of the medium, and the Ryerson community is grateful to Ms. Silverman Bass for this thoughtful donation. The Bass Collection will be freely accessible by appointment to students, scholars, and curators at the RIC’s Peter Higdon Research Centre. Academic and curatorial inquiries may be directed to: