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Peter Winkworth Collection

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Peter Winkworth Collection - 2008 Acquisition

peter winkworthAn Indian removing in the summer with his wife and family

This delightful image of an early 19th century Indian family moving house for the summer is part of a major acquisition in 2008 by Library and Archives Canada of artworks and maps found in the Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana. The Friends of Library and Archives Canada has recently made a sizable contribution of funds to support this acquisition.

The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana is a treasure of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, maps and other documents of incomparable beauty and breadth, depicting landscapes in every part of Canada and scenes of almost every aspect of life in Canada over four centuries. Peter Winkworth (1929 - 2005) was the scion of a British and Canadian family who became an expert, dedicated and persistent collector of Canadiana over more than 50 years. The 2008 acquisition by LAC, combined with an earlier acquisition by LAC of Peter Winkworth items in 2002, is a unique holding that will provide invaluable scope for students of Canadian art and history for years to come.

The artist of the above watercolour, Peter Rindisbacher, was born in Bern, Switzerland, in 1806. He was fifteen years old when he immigrated with his family to Red River Territory (present day Manitoba) in 1821 as part of an effort by Lord Selkirk to settle the region. Rindisbacher produced a series of watercolours documenting the voyage to Rupert's Land and life in the colony. He became well known as an artist in Red River and received requests for copies of his works from settlers, Hudson's Bay Company officials and successive governors of the Red River Colony.

In 1996, the Friends made available funds for the purchase of a single item from the Winkworth Collection: an 1812 Circus Poster entitled Mrs. Redon's Benefit, which may be viewed on the Acquisitions page of this web site.

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