WILKS, Claire Weissman

Author Tags: Photography, Women

Born in Cornwall, England in 1834, Hannah Maynard established a photography business in Victoria with her husband Richard Maynard in the early 1860s. In 1897 she became the official photographer of the Victoria Police Department and held that position for five years. Although her gender is significant, it is her experimental techniques that make her most conspicuous. She once combined 2200 children's faces into one montage. Fascinated with death, many of her images are surreal and some of her self-portraits are worthy of Magritte. She used tricks for artistic purposes, not simply for novelty. Hannah Maynard took thousands of photos during her 50-year career until her retirement in 1912. She died in 1918, at age 84, and was buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery. Her husband, a former shoemaker, had died in 1907. Hannah's Maynard's photographs--including traditional studio portraits as well as her strange composites and apparitions--have been appropriately celebrated and examined by Claire Weissman Wilk's in The Magic Box: The Eccentric Genius of Hannah Maynard, Photographer 1834-1918 Canada (Exile Editions, 1980). Wilks was a visual researcher for CBC for 12 years and previously published Drawings, a selection of her own work. Maynard's work is also prominently featured in "A Woman's Place": Art and the Role of Women in the Cultural Formation of Victoria, BC 1850s-1920s (2004), a collaborative book arising from the Maltwood Art Museum and the University of Victoria.

[BCBW 2004] "Photography" "Women"