Toronto Metropolitan University
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Retrieving histories: a case study of Cyril J. Brown’s family album

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posted on 2021-06-08, 14:45 authored by Aliya Mazari
This thesis examines the visual construction of family in the previously unknown personal album of Cyril J. Brown in the Royal Ontario Museum’s South Asian photography collection. Beginning with retrieving the object’s personal history and tracing its links to the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the crossover in photographic content between Brown’s personal album and the Kautz Family YMCA Archive at the University of Minnesota is examined. In doing so, I argue that family photography and institutional forms of image making are interconnected through the use of familial photographic tropes and pictorialist techniques which are common to both collections. Finally, concluding with a reflection on the significance of Brown’s album for the genre of family photography.





  • Master of Arts


  • Film and Photography Preservation and Collection Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis

Thesis Advisor

Deepali Dewan Thy Phu