Ottawa, May 16, 2006 -- Well into the 19th century, the landscape, events and everyday lives of the people who shaped our country were captured by artists of the times; their works provide a valuable visual record of Canada's history. The late Peter Winkworth was a passionate collector of Canadiana throughout his lifetime. Over a period of some 45 years, this Quebec-born British resident amassed a huge collection of paintings, prints, watercolours, drawings and other types of Canadian art.
In 2002, Library and Archives Canada acquired more than 3,300 prints, 700 watercolours and drawings, and more than 100 maps and paintings from Mr. Winkworth's collection of Canadiana. These remarkable works can now be shared with all Canadians.
The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana: Early Impressions of Quebec, one of a series of five regional exhibitions travelling across the country, opens today, May 16, 2006, at Library and Archives Canada, in Ottawa. A must-see exhibition, it includes 66 exceptional oil paintings, watercolours, lithographs and etchings from the Winkworth collection relating to the history of Quebec, as well as a selection of paintings, rare books and other documents chosen from the permanent holdings of Library and Archives Canada.
Included in the exhibition are works by many well-known artists including Cornelius Krieghoff, James Pattison Cockburn, Frances Anne Hopkins and George Heriot. Of special note is a beautiful Hopkins watercolour, which details how timber was shipped to Québec in the 1800s. A work by a lesser-known artist, Henry DuVernet, entitled A View of the Mill and Tavern of Philemon Wright at the Chaudière Falls, Hull, on the Ottawa River, Lower Canada, depicts the Outaouais in 1823.
"The Peter Winkworth Collection is the largest and most important collection this institution has ever acquired," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "Today, its works not only document Canada's landscapes, towns and events, but also of the daily activities of its citizens. They give life and immediacy to the stories of our past."
Early Impressions of Quebec is divided into three thematic sections: Conflict and Commerce explores the social, religious, territorial and commercial conflicts that arose among the various groups, and shows some of the economic and industrial developments of the 16th century and onwards; New Lands, New Peoples presents views of Quebec's physical and natural landscape, and highlights scenes depicting the lives of our country's Indigenous peoples; and finally, Life and Leisure illustrates the changes in Quebec's population and politics, its commercial and industrial prosperity, the establishment of educational and artistic institutions, and the advent of leisure time, pastimes and recreation.
The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana: Early Impressions of Quebec runs until September 5, 2006, and is open every day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Exhibition Room C, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. Admission is free.
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Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations Officer, Library and Archives Canada
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