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Description found in Archives

Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana at the National Archives of Canada [graphic material, cartographic material]. 

Collection consists of



Place of creation


8 paintings oil.
453 watercolours watercolour, pen and ink, pencil.
240 drawings pen and ink, pencil, pastel.
7 albums of watercolours 100 watercolours, 84 drawings, 8 prints, 6 photos, 1 map.
ca. 3260 prints etchings, engraving, aquatints, mezzotints, lithographs, serigraphs.
27 volumes of prints (198 prints) etchings, engravings, lithographs.
ca. 100 maps and plans etchings, engravings, lithographs.

Scope and content

The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana is sweeping and invaluable in its scope and content for the visual history of Canada. Much of the material, even the prints, is unique and not held in any other public institution in the world. Included are a wide range of subjects and individuals: portraits and views of the life of First Nations peoples, portraits of colonial officials, administrators, naval and military officers, explorers, politicians, and other celebrated Canadians; flora and fauna, including rare wildflowers, animals, and birds depicted by such artists as John James Audubon, Maria Miller, and John Edwards; scenes of settlement, industry, trade, commerce, transport, and agriculture, by artists including Cornelius Krieghoff, James Pattison Cockburn, Frances Anne Hopkins, John H. Caddy, Edward Roper, Edward Richardson, Alicia Killaly, James Duncan, Henri Julien, Emile Petitot, and many others; views of towns and cities across Canada; records of events and disasters, including battles, ship launchings, shipwrecks, fires, floods, and tempests; and images of everyday life. Views of the Seven Years' War and the War of 1812 are well-represented. The history of Canadian printmaking can also be discerned through an examination of the print collection, which represents many media, and a wide variety of unique items, including a copper plate etched in Canada in 1781; a set of early lithographs showing the construction of the Chaudiere Falls bridges across the Ottawa in 1827; and a portrait print of Lord Elgin and his wife done in Toronto in 1847, among others. Finally there are significant and unique views of the 1885 Rebellion in western Canada, and of the Yukon Gold Rush.

Graphic (art)
90: Open
Item no. assigned by LAC
from 1 to 184
from 186 to 290
from 292 to 680
from 682 to 690
from 692 to 695
from 697 to 700
from 702 to 703
from 705 to 708
from 710 to 711
from 714 to 716
from 722 to 731
from 733 to 901
from 903 to 1224
from 1227 to 1326
from 1328 to 1589
from 1591 to 2363
from 2365 to 2442
from 2444 to 2686
from 2688 to 2834
from 2836 to 3130
from 3132 to 3363
from 3365 to 3421
from 3427 to 3476
from 3478 to 3654
from 3656 to 3694
from 3696 to 3764
from 3771 to 3881
from 3883 to 3891
from 3893 to 3949
from 3951 to 3953
from 4001 to 4093
90: Open
Archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright expired for all but a very few items. Please credit Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana and the National Archives of Canada.

Wordperfect list available. (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

Peter Winkworth was born on April 25, 1929. He attended Bishop's College School in Canada, Wadham College, Oxford, and worked as a stockbroker for a Canadian firm in London, England. His passion for Canadiana began with his purchase of a set of Canadian prints from his uncle, John Bernard. He subscribed to English and French art catalogues and, in the 1950s and 1960s, attended salesrooms and art auctions in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and New York. His knowledge of Canadiana is legendary. For many years, Mr. Winkworth maintained a close relationship with the McCord Museum in Montreal where he was made honorary curator of prints. In the 1970s he began working as an unpaid consultant in repatriating works of art relating to Canada for major national institutions, in particular, the National Archives of Canada. Peter Winkworth was awarded the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1984. Family information

Additional information

The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana is a unique art collection which documents four centuries of Canadian history and focuses on exploration, settlement, trade, industry and urban growth, and developments in society, art and literature. The collection includes such well-known artists as Edward Roper, Peter Rindisbacher, and Frances Anne Hopkins. This is the single largest acquisition of works of art which Canada has ever seen. Historical themes highlighted in the collection include The Seven Years' War, General Wolfe and his officers, aboriginal life in North America, Arctic exploration, the War of 1812, the Rebellions of 1837-1838, Montreal, Quebec, and Niagara Falls, and the history of Canadian printmaking.

Custodial history
Acquired by the vendor from a wide variety of sources, including individuals, dealers, and auction houses in Canada, the USA, Great Britain, France, and Italy.

Arrangement note
The collection is being arranged alphabetically by name of artist for all original paintings, watercolours, and drawings; and by series, theme, geographical location, or chronologically for prints. Maps are being catalogued separately.

Availability of other formats note
A large number of items have been scanned digitally and will be available through a website.

Reproduction note
All items will be copied.

Subject heading

1. Winkworth, Peter
2. Art, Canadian.
3. Art, canadien.
4. Canada
5. Canada dans l'art.


Related control no.

1. 2008-00292-6
2. 2008-00293-4
3. 2009-00120-6
4. R9266