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La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1872
Beaton, British Columbia, 1945
Biography synopsis
Mattie Gunterman, née Ida Madeline Warner, was raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin where she learned photography from her uncle, Charles Warner, a commercial photographer. At seventeen she left home to move to Seattle, and in 1891 married William Gunterman, whose brother Frank gave her further instruction in photography. The Guntermans moved to British Columbia in 1898; she and her husband worked as cooks for a mining camp called Nettie-L. Gunterman documented the lives of Canadian pioneers through photographs of herself, family and acquaintances in the Lardeau Valley of British Columbia. When the mine closed in 1910 Gunterman took fewer photographs, and in 1927 a house fire destroyed many of her negatives. Gunterman's images were never publicly shown during her lifetime. In the early 1960s some of her photographs were donated to the Vancouver Public Library. There have since been exhibitions of her work in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
Media used
File & Archive locations
University of Calgary Library, AB
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Vancouver Public Library, BC - Fine Arts and History Department
Getty Research Institute, CA - Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Papers

Writings about
Bancroft, Marian Penner. "The Photographs of Mattie Gunterman." B.C. Photographer 2 (Spring 1975): 24-32
Bassnett, Sarah and S. Bassnett. Photography in Canada, 1839 to 1989 Toronto, On.: Art Canada Institute, 2023
Boutilier, Alicia & Tobi Bruce. The Artist Herself : Self-portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists / L'artiste elle-même : autoportraits de femmes artistes au Canada. Kingston, ONT.: Agnes Etherinton Art Centre. Hamilton: Art Gallery Hamilton, 2015
Carr, Angela, ed. Raven Papers: Remembering Natalie Luckyj (1945-2002) Newcastle, ON: Penumbra Press, 2010
Close, Susan. Framing Identity: Social Practices of Photography in Canada (1880 - 1920). Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2007
Close, Susan. Framing Identity: Social Practices of Photography in Canada (1880-1920). Amsterdam: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (PhD dissertation), 2005
Close, Susan. "Mattie Gunterman's Family Album." Queen's Quarterly 103.2 (1996): 318-339
Close, Susan Michelle. Framing Identity: Mattie Gunterman, Geraldine Moodie and the Social Practice of Photography in Canada (1880 - 1920). Ottawa: Carleton University (M.A. thesis), 1995
Cobb, Myrna and Sher Morgan. Eight Women Photographers of British Columbia, 1860-1978. Victoria, British Columbia: Camosun College, 1978
Douglas, Fred. Eleven Early British Columbian Photographers, 1890-1940. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1976
Fisher, Susan. "Looking Back: Mattie Gunterman." Photo Life 32.2 (Mar. 2007): 74
Grey, Charlotte. "Mattie Sure Shot." Canadian Geographic 120.3 (2000):52-59
James, G.. "Opening Up B.C." Canadian Magazine (28 Jan. 1978): 8-11
Jones, Laura. Rediscovery: Canadian Women Photographers 1841-1941, May 13th-June 27th, 1983. London, Ontario: London Regional Art Gallery, 1983
Jonescu-Lisitza, Sylvia and Henri Robideau. The Photographs of Mattie Gunterman / Les photographs de Mattie Gunterman. Saskatoon: Photographers Gallery, 1977
Koltun, Lilly ed. Private Realms of Light: Amateur Photography in Canada 1839-1940. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1984
Mackie, John.. "Photographer and Camp Cook left Photo Legacy; Matti Gunterman Produced a Record of B.C. Life as the 20th Century Began." Vancouver Sun 21 Jan. 2009: 4
National Film Board of Canada. Yesterday in the Lardeau. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 1977
Neering, Rosemary. Wild West Women: Travelers, Adventurers and Rebels. Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2000
Robertson, Sheila. "Photos Elevated to Autobiography." Star Phoenix (Saskatoon) 19 Sept. 1998: 16
Robideau, Henri. A Tourist's Guide to the Giant Things and Mattie Gunterman Historical Sites of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Vancouver: H. Robideau, c. 1995
Robideau, Henri. "Mattie Gunterman: Photographer." This Magazine 12.3 (Jul.-Aug. 1978): 18-19.
Robideau, Henri. "Mattie Guntermann, British Columbia." Canadian Woman Studies / Les cahiers de la femme 2.3 (1980): 12-14
Robideau, Henri.. Flapjacks and Photographs: The Life Story of the Famous Camp Cook and Photographer Mattie Gunterman. Vancouver: National Film Board of Canada, 1977
Rosenblum, Naomi. A History of Women Photographers. New York: Abbeville, 2000
Skidmore, Colleen. Rare Merit: Women in Photography in Canada, 1840-1940 Vancouver, B.C.: UBC Press, 2022
The Photographer's Gallery. The Photographs of Mattie Gunterman Saskatoon: The Photographer's Gallery, 1977

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