The Lost City
A portrait of a lost Saint John.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, cities throughout North America engaged in disruptive periods of massive “urban renewal” of older, poorer areas. Neighbourhoods were razed to make way for freeways, housing projects, public amenities, sports arenas, and subdivisions. Planned communities replaced older urban neighbourhoods that had evolved over generations.
Ian MacEachern worked for CHSJ-TV in Saint John from 1962 to 1966, and he witnessed the profound transformation of Canada's oldest city as it was buffeted by the forces of reconstruction and modernization. He also recorded the life of the city, its neighbourhoods, its residents, and social life in more than a thousand photographs. Like the documentary photographic works of Walker Evans, Dorothy Lange, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, MacEachern's photographs show an extraordinary power in their honest depictions of fleeting moments and a raw humanity.
For The Lost City: Ian MacEachern's Photographs of Saint John, architectural and social historian John Leroux has selected seventy-five black-and-white photographs drawn from MacEachern's exceptional archive and written an accompanying essay that examines the recent history of Saint John and the effect of urban renewal on civic architecture, historic neighbourhoods, and community structure.
The Lost City will accompany a touring exhibition, curated by John Leroux and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, that will open in Saint John in the fall of 2018.
John Leroux is an award-winning art historian, curator, and architect. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Art History from Concordia University. Currently the Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, he has previously worked at highly respected architecture firms in Toronto, Atlanta, and Fredericton and was selected to be a team member in Canada's entry at the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture.
Leroux's numerous art historical and curatorial projects include his documentation and interpretation of Fredericton's Centennial Building murals, the stained glass of Fredericton, the architectural landmarks of New Brunswick, and the recreation of Fred Ross's monumental war memorial mural at the University of New Brunswick. He has taught at St. Thomas University, the New Brunswick College of Craft & Design, and the University of New Brunswick and authored more than twelve books, including Building New Brunswick: An Architectural History and 1967: New Brunswick's Centennial Building Murals.
Ian MacEachern worked as a TV cameraman in Sydney and Moncton before moving to Saint Johnin 1962 to work for CHSJ-TV. Prompted by several fires and impending urban renewal, he began taking photographs that documented the changing face of the city in the mid-1960s.
MacEachern later worked as a freelance magazine and industrial photojournalist and taught photography at H.B. Beal Secondary School, Fanshawe Community College, and the University of Western Ontario. MacEachern's photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including artscanada, Chatelaine, and Maclean's, and have been exhibited throughout Canada and the United States. His work is included in the permanent collection of the McIntosh Gallery at the University of Western Ontario and in several private collections. He lives in London, Ontario.
Pub date: October 2, 2018