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The Portraits of Toronto Photographer Al Gilbert

The Market Gallery 2010 Exhibits & Events
April 24 through September 11, 2010

From the Ontario Jewish Archives (a department of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto), an exhibit of the work of internationally acclaimed portrait photographer, Al Gilbert, features close to 75 portraits of prominent personalities from all walks of life with a special emphasis on Toronto luminaries.

While Gilbert earned a reputation within the Toronto Jewish community as the premier photographer for graduations, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries and wed dings, he also won great acclaim and awards within the international world of photography as a master portrait photographer. His innovative techniques and success securing world famous subjects including Pope John Paul II, Frank Sinatra, Martin Luther King III, several Canadian prime ministers and all of the Israeli prime ministers set him apart from of his peers.

The exhibition is primarily comprised of oversized portraits of some of the notable people photographed by Al Gilbert throughout his career, while also featuring several early photographs taken by Nathan Gilbert. Artifacts, from glass plate negatives to digital images, documenting the early days of Gilbert Studios will also be on display in order to reveal the evolution of the studio and photographer.

The history of Gilbert Studios dates back to 1922, when Nathan Gittelmacher (the family later changed their name to Gilbert) established his studio at 615 Queen Street West. His son Albert assisted him with his work and later took over the business during the 1940s. In order to accommodate his growing clientele, Al moved the studio to Eglinton Avenue and later to 170 Davenport Road, where it is situated today.

Many of the Gilbert photographs on view were donated in 2007 to the Ontario Jewish Archives. The archives were established in 1973 and are responsible for acquiring, preserving and making available documentary sources related to the Ontario Jewish community.

Link to article on the MARKET GALLERY website >>