Lorraine Monk was born in Montreal (ca.1926). She earned a B.A. from McGill University in 1944, and an M.A. in 1946. She worked as a writer at the National Film Board (NFB) from 1957 to 1959, and became the director of their Still Photography division (which she created) in 1960. In 1967 she inaugurated "The Photo Gallery" in Ottawa, the first gallery in the country devoted to contemporary Canadian photography. That same year, she started a program of traveling photographic exhibitions that crossed Canada and toured abroad. Monk also published several books, including Canada: A Year of the Land (1967), which won major awards for printing excellence, The Female Eye (1975), Canada (1975), which won the silver medal at the Leipzig International Book Fair, and Between Friends (1976), which won the gold medal at the Leipzig International Book Fair.
After leaving the NFB and moving to Toronto in 1980, Monk continued to organize photo exhibitions and to produce books, such as Canada with Love (1982). She established the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and also served as its first executive director. The museum, situated in Ottawa, held its first exhibition in 1987. Monk is the recipient of several awards, including the Centennial Medal (1967) and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Order of Ontario. Monk has also been given two honorary doctorate degrees from York and Carleton Universities.
Lorraine Monk had four children with her husband, John, before he died in 1978. Her daughter Karyn Monk is a novelist. Lorraine Monk currently lives in Toronto.
Lorraine Monk’s website http://lorrainemonk.com/
The Canadian Encyclopedia—Lorraine Monk
Order of Canada—Lorraine Monk
Lumley, Elizabeth. Canadian Who’s Who 2006.
“Loraine Monk.” Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2010. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich: Gale, 2010.
Proby, Joscelyn. “Pictures that shook the world.” The Toronto Star (October 8, 1989), D5.
3 compact audio discs (ca. 30 hrs.)
This fonds consists of 30 hours of interviews dealing with Monk’s experiences as the Director of the National Film Board Still Photography Division. The interviews were mainly conducted by Lilly Koltun, then the Director of the Art and Photography division of the National Archives of Canada. Monk reminisces about her dealings with various photographers and exhibitions. The material was originally recorded on tape, and is available here in MP3 format.
This fonds includes information relating to a number of photographers, including:
- Roloff Benny
- Jim Borcoman
- Jennifer Dickson
- Robert Frank
- Yousuf Karsh
- John Max
- Freeman Patterson
- Michael Semak
- Ron Soloman
A) No access restriction.
B) Material is subject to copyright restrictions; please consult an archivist.