The Artists’ Halifax

Portraits of the town and harbour through 250 years, Selected from the collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

by Mora Dianne O'Neill

An authority in historical works of art, Mora Dianne O'Neill offers a collection of more than 100 fine works of art which show Halifax at many stages in its development.

For the past 250 years, Halifax and its residents have been a favourite subject of visiting and local artists. This book presents a collection of more than 100 works of art which show the city at every stage in its history.

This selection of images is drawn from hundreds of paintings, drawings, etchings, lithographs and sketches in the rich collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Many early paintings by military artists show the growth of the town and surrounding area. Later works by distinguished visiting artists and well-known residents include portraits and landscapes influenced by European high art. There are also fine examples of lithographs created for the popular nineteenth-century illustrated magazines.

The works are organized by period, so that the underlying story of the transformation of Halifax from a small fortified town into a sophisticated urban centre is clearly told.

The establishment of the Victoria School of Art and Design, now the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, had a profound impact on the artistic life of Halifax. This is reflected in the variety and strength of twentieth-century representations of the city, with examples of Impressionism, cubism, and realism along with explorations in abstraction. Each work is accompanied by a descriptive caption by historian Mora Dianne O'Neill that describes the context, the art and the artist. Also included are brief biographies of the artists represented in the book.

About the Author

Mora Dianne O'Neill

MORA DIANNE O'NEILL is curator of historical prints and drawings at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. She has presented exhibitions at the gallery focussing on individual artists, such as William Eagar, Robert Petley, Alan Syliboy, and on themes, most notably a show titled "At the Great Harbour: 250 Years on the Halifax Waterfront." She has written many catalogues and articles on Canadian artists.

Subjects (BISAC)


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