The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana is sweeping and invaluable in its scope and content for the visual history of Canada. Much of the material, even the prints, is unique and not held in any other public institution in the world. Included are a wide range of subjects and individuals: portraits and views of the life of First Nations peoples, portraits of colonial officials, administrators, naval and military officers, explorers, politicians, and other celebrated Canadians; flora and fauna, including rare wildflowers, animals, and birds depicted by such artists as John James Audubon, Maria Miller, and John Edwards; scenes of settlement, industry, trade, commerce, transport, and agriculture, by artists including Cornelius Krieghoff, James Pattison Cockburn, Frances Anne Hopkins, John H. Caddy, Edward Roper, Edward Richardson, Alicia Killaly, James Duncan, Henri Julien, Emile Petitot, and many others; views of towns and cities across Canada; records of events and disasters, including battles, ship launchings, shipwrecks, fires, floods, and tempests; and images of everyday life. Views of the Seven Years' War and the War of 1812 are well-represented. The history of Canadian printmaking can also be discerned through an examination of the print collection, which represents many media, and a wide variety of unique items, including a copper plate etched in Canada in 1781; a set of early lithographs showing the construction of the Chaudiere Falls bridges across the Ottawa in 1827; and a portrait print of Lord Elgin and his wife done in Toronto in 1847, among others. Finally there are significant and unique views of the 1885 Rebellion in western Canada, and of the Yukon Gold Rush.
Winkworth, Peter, 1929-2005: Peter Winkworth was born on April 25, 1929. He attended Bishop's College School in Canada, Wadham College, Oxford, and worked as a stockbroker for a Canadian firm in London, England. His passion for Canadiana began with his purchase of a set of Canadian prints from his uncle, John Bernard. He subscribed to English and French art catalogues and, in the 1950s and 1960s, attended salesrooms and art auctions in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and New York. His knowledge of Canadiana is legendary. For many years, Mr. Winkworth maintained a close relationship with the McCord Museum in Montreal where he was made honorary curator of prints. In the 1970s he began working as an unpaid consultant in repatriating works of art relating to Canada for major national institutions, in particular, the National Archives of Canada. Peter Winkworth was awarded the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1984. Family information