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Description found in Archives

William Armstrong fonds [graphic material]. 

Date(s)

1851-1911

Place of creation

Canada

29 watercolours watercolour, pencil, opaque white, black ink, scraping out.
16 prints lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, wood engravings.
2 photographs.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of watercolours and prints by William Armstrong acquired from a variety of sources, mostly dealers and auction houses from 1914 onwards. Included are watercolours depicting: Fort Niagara, American side; Upper Fort Garry, Manitoba; scene on Lake Superior showing an Indian encampment; scene on Lake Superior showing men loading equipment into canoes; Miners Camp, Silver Harbour, Thunder Bay, Ontario; view on the Nipigon River; an unidentified rocky landscape with figure; Prince Arthur's arrival to Western Ontario on October 5th, 1869, for the ceremony of the turning of the first sod in construction of the Toronto Grey & Blue Railway; Thunder Bay; Little Current, Manitoulin Island; Western Ontario; scene on the Red River; Fort Garry and Fort William (Port Arthur); scenes in Ontario, Quebec and Michigan; Voyageur boat and Chippewa canoe, Thunder Bay, Lake Superior; Côte des Neiges Road, Montreal, Quebec; Col. Wolseley's Camp, Prince Arthur's Landing, July 1870; building of the Dawson Road Cashabowe Station; Fort William, 1865; Indians setting up camp on the Prairies; views of the Hudson's Bay Post, Lake Nipigon; work entitled "The Mackenzie River, Thunder Bay (with Indian Burial" and Hagersville. Also included are multiple copies of prints depicting views of Toronto in 1856 as well as London, (Ontario); Stone Fort, Red River Settlement; Red River Expedition; The Toronto Yacht Club 1852; Kakabeka Falls and Portage; as well as a print published in the Illustrated London News. Finally there are two photographs of paintings by William Armstrong entitled "Nipigon Bay" and "Otter Head Island, Lake Superior", which were acquired for study purposes only.

Graphic (photo)
Copy negative C-011749
96: Restrictions vary
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A004-01 Item no. assigned by LAC 1
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A004-01 Item no. assigned by LAC 1
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A004-01 Item no. assigned by LAC 1
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A004-02 Item no. assigned by LAC 1
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A005-02 Item no. assigned by LAC 1
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A006-02
C-001837 Item no. assigned by LAC 1
99: Closed pending processing
Graphic (photo)
96: Restrictions vary
Volume
1
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
96: Restrictions vary
Box
020332
90: Open
Archival reference no.

Terms of use

Watercolours: no restrictions on use or reproduction. Copyright expired. Crown copyright on reproductions. Credit: National Archives of Canada. Documents must be consulted under close supervision for conservation purposes.
Prints: no restrictions on use or reproduction. Copyright expired. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Photographs: use for research purposes only. Copyright expired. Credit: National Archives of Canada.

Descriptions available on-line in Minisis ICON. (Electronic)

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.

Additional information

Custodial history
Acquired from a variety of dealers, auction houses, and private donors, as well as from unknown sources before 1930.
Some of the prints described have never been accessioned but are included with this fonds.

Associated material note
The David Ives Bushnell collection of Canadiana contains a series of seven watercolours by William Armstrong.
The Senator William McDougall collection consists of five watercolours by William Armstrong.
The Coverdale collection of Canadiana containes eight watercolours by William Armstrong.
The Robert Reford fonds contains one watercolour by William Armstrong.
The Newton McConnell and William Armstrong collection contains one watercolour by William Armstrong.

Private

Related control no.

1. 1931-213 PIC
2. 1931-214 PIC
3. 1933-255 PIC
4. 1937-499 PIC
5. 1937-500 PIC
6. 1942-003 PIC
7. 1954-065 PIC
8. 1967-071 PIC
9. 1969-003 PIC
10. 1979-082 PIC
11. 1989-486 DAP
12. 1989-487 DAP
13. 1989-488 DAP
14. 1989-489 DAP
15. 1989-491 DAP
16. 1989-492 DAP
17. 1989-493 DAP
18. 1993-461 DAP
19. 121-080267-8
20. 2003-02101-9