Original post by Dr. Jessica Bushey, with updates by Daien Ide.
Re-Fresh and Re-Launch
North Vancouver’s photographer, Jack Cash, created thousands of images throughout his career. Many of his photographs of ships being launched at Burrard Dry Dock during World War II became icons highlighting North Vancouver’s place on the world stage during wartime.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions led to the Archives closure and eclipsed the launch of the onsite exhibition. While pivoting to an online feature for the 2020 Capture Photography Festival was successful, it is the large-sized hand-tinted natural and industrial landscapes that have yet to be experienced in-person.
In October 2022, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver (3203 Institute Road) is excited to once again launch its exhibition, Through the Lens of Jack Cash: 1939-1970. Newly included are magazines from the 1950s and original albums to browse through, as well as film footage that provides a glimpse of the overlap between family and work life.
The archival photographs, logbooks, cameras, and ephemera included in the Jack Cash exhibition are part of a larger donation to the Archives by Cash’s son, Derek Cash.
Using Images To Tell Stories
Jack Cash was born in 1918 to Gwen Cash, the first woman general reporter in Canada, and had big shoes to fill. However, instead of words, Jack used his images to tell stories.
By the late 1930s, Jack Cash was selling his photographs to the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun. Many of the iconic images of ships launching from Burrard Dry Docks during World War II were taken by the young Jack Cash.
Officially, Jack was a pipefitters assistant, but he quickly gained attention as a proper photographer when his images appeared in the monthly company newsletter, the Wallace Shipbuilder.
Jack Cash Studios
Following the end of World War II, Cash continued as a freelance photographer for the shipyards but eventually established his own photographic studio, opening Jack Cash Studios Ltd. at 1629 Marine Drive in 1956.
Jack Cash became a recognized name as a commercial photographer in British Columbia. His talent and dedication were evident inside the studio and outside on the road.
Using his car as a shooting platform, Cash travelled extensively throughout British Columbia, working for a wide-range of clients, such as MacMillan Bloedel and Western Living Magazine. He kept meticulous track of all his shooting assignments in his log book, which is now preserved at the Archives in North Vancouver.
North Shore Through a Photographer’s Eye
In preparing the Jack Cash exhibition, the Archives team included Sam Fredericks, who joined MONOVA for 6-months as a Young Canada Works, Building Careers in Heritage intern.
In addition to processing the donation of archival materials, Sam arranged and described the photographs, business records and ephemera so that they can be accessed online through the Archives database here.
This exhibition celebrates Cash’s contribution to Canadian photography, from his initial work within the social documentary tradition to his focus on the beauty of British Columbia’s landscapes.
Featuring Jack Cash’s original black and white and hand-tinted photographs, and photography equipment from the 1930s onward, visit the exhibition to rediscover the North Shore through a photographer’s eye.
Through the Lens of Jack Cash: 1939-1970 is on exhibit at MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver (3203 Institute Road) until February 2023. Public access to the exhibit is by appointment only. Learn more here. An online extension of the exhibit can be seen by clicking the button below.
We rely on contributions, monthly or one-time gifts, to help MONOVA safeguard and expand our community’s archival and museum collections, build learning experiences and inspire future generations.
Donations are accepted through the Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, Registered Charity No. 89031 1772 RR0001.
We respectfully acknowledge that MONOVA: Museum and Archives of North Vancouver is located on the traditional lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, whose ancestors have lived here for countless generations. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and learn with them on unceded Coast Salish Territory.