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City Government

Historic Artwork Donated to the City


October 14, 2011 - The City has added a valuable work of art to its collection, thanks to the gracious donation of local resident Burton Brown. The small, 9” by 7” india ink sketch, dated Sept. 5, 1881 depicts the sailboat Shamrock on Lake Superior with the Sleeping Giant visible in the background.

Its artist, Lucius Richard O’Brien, was the first president of the Royal Canadian Academy and is best known for his painting Sunrise on the Saguenay, Cape Trinity, which is in the National Gallery’s collection. During his travels he also painted Kakabeka Falls, and was invited as one of the first artists to paint the Canadian landscape from the newly connected Canadian Pacific Rail line into western Canada.

Mr. Brown said he wished to ensure the piece stayed in the community for generations to enjoy. At 102 years of age, Burton was born, raised and still lives in the north side of the City. Fred Jones, one of the occupants depicted in the boat was Burton’s grandmother’s brother.

“We are thrilled to have this piece become part of the collection and want to thank Mr. Brown for his donation” stated Beverly Ball, Manager of the City’s Recreation & Culture Division, which oversees the art collection. “It’s a valuable part of the artist’s work and of great value to the community.”

The sketch is being assessed for conservation treatment, and reproductions will be framed and displayed in City-owned publicly-accessible buildings.

For more information about the City’s art collection visit: www.thunderbay.ca/publicart

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Contact: Reana Mussato, Public Art Coordinator, 625-2365