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Description found in Archives

William Armstrong [graphic material]. 



Place of creation


7 watercolours.

Scope and content

Series consists of seven watercolours by William Armstrong (1822-1914) depicting: White Horse Plains near Old Fort Garry; a Cree Indian; Hudson's Bay Company Post, Fort Pic, Lake Superior; Pechaunigum (Rabbit) Rapids, Nipigon River, Lake Superior; fishing at Sault Ste. Marie; Shebaunaning (Killarney), Lake Huron; One of the boys.

Graphic (art)
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Watercolours: No restrictions. Copyright expired.

Watercolours: All items described at item-level in MINISIS-ICON. (Electronic)

Additional name(s)

Biography / Administrative history

William Armstrong, born in Dublin in 1822, was a younger son of a military officer, who was apprenticed as a civil engineer in 1838. He worked for several railway companies in England before emigrating to Toronto in 1851. He was employed by the Grand Trunk and other railways until the 1880s, when he took up a full-time career as a painter. He was interested in photography as well as painting and was a partner in the firm of Armstrong, Beere and Hime, Civil Engineers, Draughtsmen, and Photographers, from ca. 1857 to 1864. Armstrong may have begun travelling around and sketching views of the Great Lakes soon after his arrival in Canada; there are 1853 views of Sault Ste. Marie and of the Kaministiquia river in 1856. His first extensive tour of the Lakehead region took place in 1867, and he accompanied the Wolsely expedition to the Canadian West in 1870. His earlier views of the Canadian West were probably copied after William Napier, H. L. Hime, John Palliser, and John Fleming. Armstrong became the drawing instructor at the Toronto Normal and Model Schools in 1864, and he also taught at the University of Toronto from 1872 to 1877. He won numerous prizes as an artist at provincial exhibitions, and his work was displayed at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855, and in Dublin in 1865. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy until 1887, when he resigned. In later life, he often recopied earlier compositions or drew from other sources. He died in Toronto.