Series contains artwork and maps collected by Peter Winkworth over the span of his lifetime. This grouping represents the first major acquisition of Winkworth material, done by Library and Archives Canada in 2002.
Included in this series are items covering a wide range of subjects and individuals: portraits of First Nations peoples, colonial administrators, naval and military officers, explorers, and politicians; flora and fauna, including rare wildflowers, animals, and birds depicted by such artists as Audubon, Rindisbacher, and Edwards; scenes of settlement, industry, trade, commerce, transport, and agriculture; views of towns and cities across Canada; records of events and disasters, including battles, shipwrecks, fires, floods, and tempests; and images of everyday life wholly unfamiliar to those of us brought up in the twentieth century.
The Maritimes are represented by such items as two 1790s watercolours of Halifax, Nova Scotia, including an important view of the Naval Dockyard, still an important part of Halifax's daily life; an 1829 watercolour of Yarmouth, N. S. by the pioneer woman artist Sarah Farish; both an 1838 and an 1892 view of St. John's, Newfoundland, showing the city in stages of its development, the latter just prior to a disastrous fire; fishing scenes on the Restigouche in the 1860s, when New Brunswick began to develop a world-wide reputation for its salmon fishing; and the landing of the first operating transatlantic cable at Heart's Content, Newfoundland in 1866.
Many works document Quebec, in the 18th and 19th century the centre of colonial life. There are numerous 18th century views of Quebec and Montreal, a pictorial fixation of Canadian artists, including Peachey, Cockburn, Sproule, Krieghoff, Duncan, and others until well into the 19th century, but there are also in addition an early view of Cap Santé on the St. Lawrence by Berczy, images of Sherbrooke, Ste. Anne de Beaupré, and other locations outside of the main urban centres, and a number of watercolours and unique prints of such educational institutions as McGill and Bishop's Colleges in the 1840s.
Ontario is equally well-represented through such works as the earliest views of the Bridges connecting Upper and Lower Canada at Bytown in 1827; watercolours of Brockville, York, Kingston, Bytown and other centres in the 1820s; the ca. 1815 watercolour of Fort William upon which the current historical reconstruction was originally based; numerous views of Niagara Falls and vicinity; and a watercolour by the famous authoress and artist Anna Brownell Jameson, showing a sunset on Lake Huron. Hundreds of prints document buildings, settlements, and urban growth throughout the 19th century.
There are also some works documenting the West and North. Among these are six works by the French missionary and explorer Father Emile Petitot of the Athabaska region in the 1870s; a work by the noted Arctic explorer George Back; views of the Cariboo Road in the 1880s, and of Dawson in the Gold Rush era; and rare views of various urban centres, including Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Victoria; and New Westminster, including one showing the city in flames in 1888. Images of natives, of settlers, and of the gold rushes in B.C. in the 1850s and 1860s, and in the Yukon in the 1890s, are among the works concerning the West.
The triumphs and tragedies of Canadian life are well-represented. From rare watercolours of the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, also known as the Métis resistance to rare printed views of Fenian Raids, drawings showing railway construction across the country, steamboat sinkings on the oceans, the Great Lakes, and even the Thames at London; and 19th century sporting triumphs by such individuals as Ned Hanlan, the champion sculler of the World in 1880.
Finally there are portraits of the heroes and heroines of Canadian history, from the well-known (Wolfe and Montcalm, Saunders, Amherst, Cook, Franklin, Sir George Simpson, Joseph Brant) to the lesser-known (Ensign Prentice, Lady Harriet Ackland, Lady Elgin).