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  Richard & Hannah Maynard

Richard Maynard was born on February 22, 1832 to Thomas and Mary (Squire) Maynard in Stratton, Cornwall, England. In 1834, the family moved to the coastal town of Bude, where he received his early schooling. In his teens, he became a shoemaker's apprentice, and at the age of 20 married Hannah Hatherly. Miss Hatherly was born was born in Bude on January 17, 1834. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Bowmanville, Canada, which is now part of Ontario. The Maynards would later add four children to their family.

Like many of his contemporaries, Mr. Maynard suffered from 'gold feve', and followed the gold rush to the Fraser River in British Columbia. During this period, Mrs. Maynard learned about photography, and soon began promoting herself as a "Photographic Artiste." After a few years of traveling and enjoying some limited mining success, Mr. Maynard and his growing brood moved to Victoria in 1862. When he ceased mining altogether two years later, he returned to the shoe-bootmaking trade and set up shop on Fort Street. It is believed his wife taught him photography during this period, and there is a mention of Richard Maynard as a photographer in the May 27, 1864 edition of The Victoria Daily Chronicle.

Husband and wife opened a photographic studio on Johnson Street, and focused on their specialty areas - landscape photography and portraiture. Hannah Maynard quickly earned a reputation of being one of Victoria's premier family photographers, served as the Victoria Police Department's official photographer, and received a commission by Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology to photograph the indigenous groups inhabiting the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Meanwhile, Mr. Maynard's photographic travels, during which he was frequently joined by his young son Albert, led him to the heart of British Columbia's mining country. In 1870, he became acquainted with Dr. Israel Wood Powell, who commissioned Mr. Maynard to accompany the crew of the gunboat Boxer photograph the coasts of British Columbia and Vancouver. This expedition resulted in several photographs of the officers, crew, and of the Kwakiutl Indian Village.

As their workloads increased, so did their need for more space. The Maynards built a photographic studio and boot/shoe store on Douglas Street in 1874. That September, Richard rejoined the crew of the Boxer, but the rainy weather impeded his ability to take clear landscape photographs. The following year, a trip to Alaska culminated in several landscape views, photographs of Chief Shake's house, and a portrait of the officers of the ship Jamestown. Interestingly, when his landscapes were published in the St. Louis Practical Photographer, Hannah Maynard mistakenly received credit for them. In 1879, the couple boarded the Princess Louise where they made a series of photographs, and it was around this time that Mrs. Maynard turned her attention to trick photography, experimenting with multiple exposures and other special effects in photographs of family and friends. One particularly unusual montage of children's faces was the first of a greeting card series titled, "Gems of British Columbia." She also dabbled in an artistic practice she dubbed "photosculptures."

After a last photographic expedition to British Columbia's Arrow and Kootenay Lakes, in 1893, Mr. Maynard retired, but his wife continued to operate their studio on her own. Seventy-five-year-old Richard Maynard died in 1907, and five years later, Hannah Maynard sold her studio and her photographic equipment. She died the following year at the age of 84. Mrs. Maynard's photographs and negatives are contained in the collections of The British Columbia Archives and Washington, DC's National Anthropological Archives.

2000 BC Archives: Hannah and Richard Maynard (URL:

2011 The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada edited by Carol Payne and Andrea Kunard (Quebec, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press), p. 41.

1906 A History O British Columbia by R. Edward Gosnell (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co.), pp. 399-401.

2000 Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865 by Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press), p. 388.

2012 Rethinking Professionalism: Women and Art in Canada, 1850-1970 edited by Kristina Huneault and Janice Anderson (Quebec, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press), pp. 135-146.

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2016-02-28 13:34:18

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