The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) has announced its new website (www.ryersonimagecentre.ca), launched in conjunction with the Toronto University’s fifth anniversary. It celebrated the milestone earlier this fall as part of Nuit Blanche Toronto – and it’s been five years to the day since the centre’s opening in the Fall of 2012. The new website, with its minimal and streamlined interface, highlights the RIC’s three areas of comprehensive focus – exhibitions, collections and research. While the public is likely most familiar with the RIC’s exhibition program, visitors will now have the chance to explore all areas of activity in much greater depth. This includes, for the first time, virtual access to highlights from the RIC’s expansive collection of photographs – an extremely unique teaching and research resource.
“Our anniversary gives us the perfect moment to improve our website, in turn allowing us to further extend access to the RIC, its collections and its three missions,” said RIC Director Paul Roth. “While we’re an energetic and dynamic research institution, much of what we do and offer happens out of sight. The new website allows us to open up this world, encourage curiosity, and invite new participation from interested audiences, scholars, students and aficionados of photography and new media.” Since opening five years ago, the RIC has featured over 80 exhibitions, worked with hundreds of photographers and artists, and welcomed more than 135,000 visitors. Through its exhibition program, the museum has explored the relationship between photography and many topics of social, cultural and political concern – including climate change, indigenous resistance, black repression and protest, gay rights and much more.
The RIC’s collection, spanning the history of photography, has grown beyond the Black Star Collection of twentieth-century photojournalism to include the artist archives of Berenice Abbott and other notable photographers. Earlier this year, Toronto real estate entrepreneur Chris Bratty made a promised gift of nearly 25,000 pictures tracing twentieth-century Canadian history, drawn from The New York Times Photo Archives. Through its acclaimed research program, the RIC has hosted dozens of scholars at four academic symposia and through annual research fellowships. In 2016, the RIC also launched a book imprint with the MIT Press, exploring important subjects in photo history.
Earlier this year, the RIC’s glass façade (facing Ryerson University’s central plaza around ‘Lake Devo’ in the centre of Toronto) was installed with a new mural highlighting key figures who helped shape Canada’s national identity through their endeavours, diversity and resilience. This historical panorama includes fourteen fascinating portraits – Margaret Atwood, John Candy, Leonard Cohen, Viola Desmond, Chief Dan George, Wayne Gretzky, Yousuf Karsh, K.D. Lang, Marshall McLuhan, Oscar Peterson, Mary Pickford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, David Suzuki and Pierre Elliott Trudeau – drawn from The New York Times Photo Archives.