The 1960s: A Selection of Vintage Prints from the Keystone Press Agency Canada

[Martin Luther King Jr. and Harry Belafonte], circa 1965 © Apis / Keystone Press Canada / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

The 1960s
A Selection of Vintage Prints from The Keystone Press Agency Canada

Opening Reception: Thursday July 6, 5-8pm
Exhibition Dates: July 6 – August 19, 2023
Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto

Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “The 1960s: A Selection of Vintage Prints from The Keystone Press Agency Canada”.

Our memory of past events and personalities involves the recollections of photographs that define those moments of history. Consequently, we count photographs among our most valued personal possessions. Images have the power to connect people across generations.

[North Vietnamese soldier Nguen Thi-Hai stands guard], circa 1965 © Keystone Press Canada / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

The Keystone Press Agency was founded by Bert Garai in the early 1900s in London, England. The Agency’s name was derived from the Keystone Shipping Company, one of the fastest agents for transporting photographs long distance at the time. The Canadian branch of the Agency was established by Bob Moynier, who began his career with Keystone working in the darkrooms in Paris, France, and later as a staff photographer. With an office already in New York City, Moynier approached Keystone’s directors in 1960 who agreed to establish a Canadian branch based in Montréal, then Canada’s largest city. Keystone operated in Montréal for over fifty years before winding down.

[The Beatles perform in Munich], June 25, 1966 © Keystone Press Canada / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Photographic archives such as Keystone provide a rich resource for scholars and those fascinated by history from a variety of disciplines, including photojournalism, art, and fashion. The Keystone Agency played a vital role by distributing images to Canadian newspapers, magazines, and other publications throughout the world. Their archive is vast, comprising over 500,000 original photographs and transparencies. This exhibition concentrates on some of the key personalities and events that defined the 1960s.

[Three American astronauts in space suits in front of a replica space capsule], August 10, 1962 © Keystone Press Canada / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Like many archives, Keystone photographs were organized by subject headings for filing after original usage, making locating photographs to reuse easier whenever images were needed to illustrate stories. This exhibition utilizes that methodology and isolates the images under these heading: the Berlin Wall; China; Counterculture; EXPO 67; Personalities; Space Exploration; The Great Train Robbery; and Vietnam. Our display of approximately 130 original photographs is accompanied by scans of the backs of the photographs, which often bear captions and notations. These written descriptions offer insight and evidence of the use and misuse of photographs to describe world events.

Given the role that the Keystone Agency played in distributing imagery for newspapers, magazines and other publications throughout the world, these photographs are important artifacts both in the context of the photographic medium and as a record of the broader legacy of the Keystone Agency.

Stephen Bulger Gallery
1356 Dundas S. W.
Toronto, ON, M6J 1Y2

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Accessibility: The gallery is partially accessible, with a level entrance, an accessible washroom, wide and unobstructed pathways, and automatic doors at the entrance.