Important Collection of Caribbean Photographs Donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario

The acquisition was made possible in part by the generous contributions of a group of 27 donors

Important Collection of Caribbean Photographs Donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario

Two Women, Trinidad, ca 1890

Three Hundred Thousand dollars ($300,000) has been raised by Toronto’s Black and Caribbean communities to bring The Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs to the Art Gallery of Toronto (AGO).

The Art Gallery of Ontario announced late yesterday The Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs, a collection of more than 3,500 historical images from 34 countries including Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad. This may be the world's largest collections of such images. This incredible visual record contains studio portraits, landscapes and tourist views.

Bringing to life the changing economies, environments and communities that emerged following the abolishment of slavery, the Collection includes nearly every photographic format available during the years 1840 to 1940, including prints, postcards, daguerreotypes, lantern slides, albums, and stereographs.

The acquisition was made possible in part by the generous contributions of a group of 27 donors, the majority of whom are from Toronto’s Black and Caribbean communities.

Collectively the donors raised over $300,000, with a lead gift from Dr. Liza & Dr. Frederick Murrell. For many of the donors it was their first collective gift to a mainstream cultural organization. The largest known collection outside the Caribbean, The Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs now positions the AGO as a leader in Caribbean photographic research, and will make its debut in an exhibition in 2021.

Note: The Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs purchased with funds from Dr. Liza & Dr. Frederick Murrell, Bruce Croxon & Debra Thier, Wes Hall & Kingsdale Advisors, Cindy & Shon Barnett, Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Kamala-Jean Gopie, Phil Lind & Ellen Roland, Martin Doc McKinney, Francilla Charles, Ray & Georgina Williams, Thaine & Bianca Carter, Charmaine Crooks, Nathaniel Crooks, Andrew Garrett & Dr. Belinda Longe, Neil L. Le Grand, Michael Lewis, Dr. Kenneth Montague & Sarah Aranha, Lenny & Julia Mortimore, and Ferrotype Collective, 2019.