By Josh Wingrove
Associate News Editor
Ryerson has announced plans for a new photography and teaching gallery to house its expanding Image Arts school and a world-famous collection of black and white photography.
The Ryerson Photography Gallery and Research Centre will be built on the first two floors of the northwest corner of the Image Arts building at a cost of $8 million. The addition will house the world-renowned Black Star Photography Collection and the Mira Godard Study Centre.
Image Arts’s two graduate programs, Photography Preservation and Collections Management and the upcoming master’s in Documentary Media, will thrive in the new building, program chair Don Snyder said.
“It’s the research home for those programs. You can’t do serious graduate studies without a research component to the program, and you can’t do research in visual arts without a collection. This is the key thing,” Snyder said.
The Black Star Historical Black and White Photography Collection is a series of 291,000 historic images — one of the great collections of the 20th century, Snyder said — stretching back to the days of Mao Tse Tung, Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe.
The collection was donated to the school last year by an anonymous donor, along with a $7 million cash donation for preservation of the collection and the development of a gallery space.
Levy said the new space will attract students and scholars alike, making the centre one of the top facilities of its kind worldwide.
The new centre will have a ground-floor lobby facing Gould Street.
A request for proposals from developers will be issued shortly by the university.