Composite Photograph of Prominent Figures

It was a busy time at William Notman's studio at the foot of Bleury Street in the winter of 1878. Over a period of several weeks there was an unusually large flow of well-known citizens to and from the studio, some arriving in fine sleighs drawn by matched teams, harness and fittings immaculately polished, others in rented sleighs with hardy drivers wrapped in buffalo coats, while still others made the visit an opportunity for a brisk walk through the snowy streets of Montreal. Among them were such notables as Sir John A. Macdonald, Canadian Prime Minister, and his wife Lady Agnes; Lord Dufferin, Governor-General of Canada, with Lady Dufferin; Sir Hugh Allan, founder of the Allan Steamship Lines; Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, politician, diplomat and industrial promoter; John Popham, advocate and Commissioner for Ontario and Quebec and the lower provinces; Matthew Hamilton Gault, President of the Exchange Bank of Canada; the Reverend Jacob Ellegood, Canon of Christ Church Cathedral and rector of St. James the Apostle Church; Alex McGibbon, prominent Montreal grocer; Lieutenant Colonel E.G.P. Littleton; and Captain Selby Smith. They came in response to an invitation sent by William Notman to have their pictures taken for inclusion in a large composite photograph of a curling match he was planning. The finished picture, made up of 122 individual photographs pasted on a painted background, was to be sent to the International Exhibition in Paris scheduled for the following summer.
Stanley G. Triggs

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