Image of a harbour scketch laid over a black and white phImage of harbour sketch.Text reads "Mooring Lines:Sketches by Bill Rhone November 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021

A Lens on Vancouver’s Past
Walter Frost’s Holland America Line (1920-1975)

On view December 3, 2020 to February 21, 2021


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first Holland-America Line (HAL) vessel to arrive at the Port of Vancouver. To mark the occasion, the VMM will host a micro-exhibition of ten photographs of HAL ships taken by Walter Frost.

The photographs have been selected by Floris van Weeldered. During a family history project to learn more about his father’s time aboard Holland-America vessels, van Weelderen came across a treasure trove of photographs in the City of Vancouver Archives. More than 13,000 images taken by amateur photographer Walter Edwin Frost capture much of the industrial activity of early 20th century Vancouver.

Of the thousands of images in the Walter Frost Collection, 82 feature Holland-America Line vessels over a period of 55 years. The ten images selected for this exhibition represent changes in naval architecture and design of this shipping line.

The micro-exhibition will also include a model of the Diemerdyk, one of the vessels photographed by Frost, and HAL ephemera from the VMM collection.

Walter Frost was born in Vancouver in 1898 and lived in the city his whole life. After WWI he purchased a Kodak roll film camera and began documenting his home-town. His favourite subject matter were ships, piers, locomotives and railway scenes.


black-and-white photo of a Holland America ship.
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