William Eagar, Tandem Club Assembling in Front of Dalhousie College, Halifax, N.S., c 1842, Lithograph on wove paper. Gift of John and Norma Oyler, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, April 27, 2016— A special new exhibition, In the Artist’s Footsteps, has opened at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, supported by a self-guided walking tour—the first of its kind at the Gallery. Curator Dianne O’Neill has included a range of compelling works from artists between 1750 and the 1950s, and showcases Halifax’s art history spanning over the last two centuries.  

Artists have left their footprints in every corner of Nova Scotia, and perhaps nowhere more than in Halifax itself. Initially they wanted to present this New World settlement to the Old, but before the end of the eighteenth century, artists were satisfying local demand for portraits and landscapes. Along the way they have been responsible for several important milestones in Canadian art history.

“When I was asked recently how I saw my role as curator of the historical prints and drawings I said that I was trying to sell Nova Scotia to Nova Scotians, so in this exhibition I guess I’m trying to sell Halifax to Haligonians,” said O’Neill. “These artists have played important roles in the history of Canadian art and their works vividly document the history of the city.”

Richard Bulkeley, who built the first stone house in Halifax in 1759, also established the first art club in Canada.  In 1830 and 1831, the first two art exhibitions in Canada graced the walls of old Dalhousie College on the Grand Parade, which can be seen in Eagar’s print.  NSCAD University, formerly the Victoria School of Art and Design, is the oldest continuously operating art school in the country.  In 1895 it became the first co-ed public art school in Canada (the second in North America) to appoint a woman principal, Katharine Norcross Evans.

Works in the exhibition will celebrate these, and other, artistic footsteps through history. A complimentary booklet with map, milestone locations and facts for each is also available at the Gallery to guide individuals through the 5km route.

In the Artists’ Footsteps in on view until October 16, 2016.

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Media Requests:

Camille Dubois Crôteau

Communications and Marketing Officer

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Tel.:   (902) 424-2903

Cell:   (902) 497-6006

About the Exhibition:

About the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia 

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is Atlantic Canada’s largest arts museum. With locations in downtown Halifax and downtown Yarmouth, it houses the province’s art collection and offers a range of innovative exhibitions and programming.