Selwyn Pullan, Clarke Simpkins (detail), 1963, Vancouver, Thompson, Berwick & Pratt, c. 1963, demolished c. 1993
Selwyn Pullan, Clarke Simpkins, Vancouver, Thompson, Berwick & Pratt (detail) (1963). Demolished c. 1993.

What's Lost

Selwyn Pullan

Opening Reception: May 15, 7–9 p.m.
Curator’s Exhibition Tour: Saturday, May 26, 2 p.m. 
Guest Talk (Donald Luxton): Saturday, June 30, 2 p.m.

Selwyn Pullan was a leading commercial photographer, whose architectural photography from the 50s to 70s promoted a modern way of living in Vancouver and beyond. He passed away on September 25, 2017 at the age of 95.

Pullan’s compelling photographs were the subject of two solo exhibitions and the seminal book Selwyn Pullan: Photographing Mid-Century West Coast Modernism produced by the West Vancouver Museum. As a result of a collaborative working relationship, Selwyn Pullan generously donated his negatives and photographs to the Museum in 2014.

Curated by Kiriko Watanabe, What’s Lost features a selection of Pullan’s iconic images from the previous exhibitions, with additional images to be presented for the first time. This exhibition highlights mid-century modern residences and buildings that have been modified or demolished, and yet live on in Pullan’s remarkable images. Also included in the exhibition are photographs of several of Vancouver’s legendary modernist figures, including Ned Pratt, Fred Hollingsworth and Ron Thom.

As a special offer during the course of this exhibition, 50 copies of Selwyn Pullan: Photographing Mid-Century West Coast Modernism published by Douglas & McIntyre (2012) signed by all the contributing writers (Barry Downs, Donald Luxton, Kiriko Watanabe and Adele Weder), as well as the photographer will be made available for purchase at the museum shop.

The West Vancouver Museum is grateful to Margaret Redpath and the Pullan Family for supporting the exhibition and accompanying publication.


Curator’s Exhibition Tour: Saturday, May 26, 2 p.m.
Selwyn Pullan: Behind the Lens 

Join Kiriko Watanabe for a guided exhibition tour of Selwyn Pullan: What’s Lost. Pullan shared with Kiriko his firsthand knowledge about mid-century modern art and architecture, as well as digital production of his photographs. Kiriko will speak about her experience working with Pullan and some behind the scene stories of restoring his images.

Guest Talk: Saturday, June 30, 2 p.m.
Seeing the Modern: Perspectives on Promotion and Conservation
Join Donald Luxton for an illustrated discussion on the importance of visual imagery in focussing our understanding of West Coast modernism, and the importance of Selwyn Pullan’s photographs in promoting new modern styles, documenting architectural history and raising awareness of heritage conservation. Donald is an award-winning heritage consultant, the author of Building the West, co-author of Selwyn Pullan: Photographing West Coast Modernism, a founding director of the Heritage Vancouver Society and a current director of Heritage BC and the Arthur Erickson Foundation.