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Arthur Lismer's Dalhousie sketches
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Arthur Lismer portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 : [drawing]

Item is an original Arthur Lismer pen and ink portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie wearing a suit jacket and tie, commissioned for—but not used in—One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The publication featured instead a photographic portrait of President Mackenzie.

Arthur Lismer portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 : [drawing]

Item is an original Arthur Lismer pen and ink portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie wearing academic robes, commissioned for—but not used in—One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). Although the background appears unfinished, the drawing has been highlighted with white gouache, as if in preparation for reproduction. The publication featured instead a photographic portrait of President Mackenzie.

Arthur Lismer portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 : [drawing]

Item is an original Arthur Lismer pen and ink portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie, commissioned for—but not used in—One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The drawing is unfinished and portrays Mackenzie in his academic robes. The publication featured instead a photographic portrait of President Mackenzie.

Arthur Lismer portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 : [drawing]

Item is an original Arthur Lismer pen and ink portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie, commissioned for—but not used in—One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The subject's body has been drawn on paper and glued to the illustration board, joining the drawing almost seamlessly just below Mackenzie's collar and bow tie. Ink marks barely visible beneath the academic gown indicate the existence of an earlier drawing. The publication featured instead a photographic portrait of President Mackenzie.

Arthur Lismer portrait of George Stewart Campbell commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer portrait of George Stewart Campbell rendered in pen and ink on illustration board, and erroneously marked on the reverse with the name Stanley Mackenzie. The image was reproduced in P.B. Waite's Lives of Dalhousie University, volume one, 1818–1925 (1994). A different portrait of Campbell appears in One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). See Box 1, Folder 22, Item 1 for the reproduction of the image that appears in the centenary publication and Folder 22, Item 2, Part 1 for the original drawing.

Arthur Lismer portraits of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 : [drawings]

Item is an illustration board with original Arthur Lismer pen and ink portraits of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie on both sides. The portrait was commissioned for—but not used in—One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920); instead the publication appeared with a photographic portrait of President Mackenzie that, unlike the other illustrations, was cut and pasted in place rather than printed.

Arthur Lismer sketch of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie : [drawing]

Part is an original Arthur Lismer sketch of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie. The drawing is laid out on a grid, using pencil on tracing paper, and is probably an early study for an illustration commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). Ultimately, none of Lismer's portraits of President Mackenzie was published; the book featured a photographic portrait.

Arthur Lismer sketch of his daughter, Marjorie : [drawing]

Part is an original Arthur Lismer pencil sketch of his daughter, Marjorie. The drawing is on the reverse of what was probably an early study for a portrait of Arthur Stanley Mackenzie commissioned for One hundred years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), and a second partial outline of Mackenzie's face can be seen very faintly upside down beneath the drawing of Esther.

Arthur Lismer's Dalhousie sketches

  • 0000-091
  • Collection
  • [ca. 1919]

Collection includes 41 original pen and ink drawings by Arthur Lismer commissioned ca. 1919 by Dalhousie's Centenary Committee to illustrate its history of the university's first century: One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918, which was published in 1920. The collection includes the original and some unfinished and/or unpublished versions of all but one of the 26 illustrations used in the book, which features historic and contemporary Dalhousie figures and buildings. There are several portraits of President Arthur Stanley Mackenzie, which were rejected in favour of publishing a photographic image, as well as a rough sketch of Lismer's daughter, Marjorie. Also included in the collection are 22 reproductions, which are probably printer's proofs, given the poor quality of the paper.

Twelve of the Lismer images were also reproduced in the booklet titled simply Dalhousie University, which was produced by the Dalhousie Million Committee as part of the promotional literature supporting the university's 1920 Million Dollar Campaign and published shortly after the Centenary Committee's book.

There is little documentary evidence beyond these two publications regarding the precise date or other details of the Lismer commission; one of the drawings is marked "1 March 1920," and another "27 March 1920," on date-received stamps from the engraving department of Rous & Mann, the Toronto company that printed both publications. The existing archival correspondence between the university and the printer (UA-3, Box 621, Folder 6) is from the Million Committee file, and refers only peripherally to the Centenary Committee's book project. A letter dated 24 March 1920 from Rous & Mann advises that the cuts, or illustrations, proposed for use in the campaign booklet were "at present locked up for the printing of the other Book in course of preparation," while later correspondence indicates that the printing and delivery of the campaign booklet gained precedence over the commemorative history, and the first run of these booklets was shipped on 17 April. The history was printed shortly after that, although by 26 May it had already been reprinted, owing to the misspelling of George Stewart Campbell, whose middle name appears in the first printing as "Stuart." The existence of the misprinted copies is due to their purchase at a steep discount by the Million Committee, who wrote: "... if the price were attractive a way might be found to use them."

No correspondence or documents have been found in the Dalhousie University Archives regarding Lismer's actual commission: within the Million Committee's correspondence file exists a single telegram from President Mackenzie to Arthur Lismer, dated 3 April 1920, which expresses a need to rush the printing along with the instruction: "leave layout to your judgement," the sole reference to Lismer's role in either project.

Lismer, Arthur

Charles Macdonald, M.A. Professor of mathematics, 1863–1901 : [drawing]

Part is an Arthur Lismer portrait of Charles Macdonald rendered in pen and ink on illustration board commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920) and reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938). On the reverse is an unfinished sketch of the same subject.

Charles Macdonald, M.A. Professor of mathematics, 1863–1901 : [drawings]

Item is an illustration board with Arthur Lismer sketches on both sides. On one is a portrait of Charles Macdonald rendered in pen and ink, commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920) and reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938). The reverse side has an unfinished sketch of the same subject, effaced with a scribble.

Facsimile of the brass on the corner stone of the original Dalhousie College : [drawing]

Item is a facsimile by Arthur Lismer of the ornately scripted brass that graced the original Dalhousie College, commemorating the event of George Ramsay laying the building's cornerstone in 1820. Also within the folder is a label originally taped to the drawing that gives its title and "no. 4 —", probably referring to its suggested placement in the order of illustrations that appear in One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), the publication for which the image was created. The book also features a facsimile of the stone tablets on the college's parapet, but the location of the original drawing of these is unknown.

Fireplace in the main reading room of the Macdonald Memorial Library : [drawing]

Part is an original Arthur Lismer illustration of the fireplace in the main reading room of Dalhousie's Macdonald Memorial Library, commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The drawing has an illegible date-received stamp from the printer's engraving department on the bottom right corner, the Strathmore drawing board plate mark on the top right corner, and some faint pencil notations on the bottom left. On the reverse is an unfinished portrait of John Johnson, professor of classics, 1863–1894.

Forrest Building. The second Dalhousie. Erected 1887 : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer illustration of Dalhousie University's Forrest Building rendered in pen and ink on illustration board; the bottom left corner has the Strathmore drawing board platemark. The image was commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920) and reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938) and P.B. Waite, Lives of Dalhousie University, Volume One, 1818–1925 (1994). P.B Waite's accompanying caption—"A Lismer sketch of Dalhousie College as it looked in 1900. Note the growth of the trees since 1887"—suggests that the sketch was made at least in part from observation.

George Lawson, F.R.S.C. Professor of chemistry, 1863–1895 : [drawing]

Part is an Arthur Lismer portrait of George Lawson rendered off-centre in pen and ink on illustration board and commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The image was reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938). On the reverse is an unfinished sketch of George Lawson.

George Lawson, F.R.S.C. Professor of chemistry, 1863–1895 : [drawings]

Item is an illustration board with orginal Arthur Lismer sketches on both sides. On one is his portrait of George Lawson rendered off-centre in pen and ink, commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920) and reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938). On the reverse is an unfinished pencil sketch of the same subject.

George Munro. The great benfactor of Dalhousie : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer portrait of George Munro rendered in pen and ink on illustration board and commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The image was reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938) and P.B. Waite, The Lives of Dalhousie University, Volume One, 1818–1925 (1994).

George Stewart Campbell, LL.D. Chairman of the Board of Governors since 1908 : [drawing]

Part is an original Arthur Lismer portrait of George Stewart Campbell commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The drawing contains the date-received stamp from the printer's engraving department, which reads "Mar 1 1920," as well as faint pencil notations along the bottom border and the title "George Stewart Campbell." The misspelling of George Campbell's middle name as "Stuart" in the first printing of the book was the cause for its rejection by the Centenary Committee. The correct spelling appears in the second printing.

George Stewart Campbell, LL.D. Chairman of the Board of Governors since 1908 : [print]

Item is a reproduction of an Arthur Lismer illustration commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920). The misspelling of George Campbell's middle name as "Stuart" versus "Stewart" in the first printing of the book was the cause for its rejection by the Centenary Committee. The correct spelling appears in the second printing, which indicates that this reproduction is the printer's proof for the second printing.

James DeMille, M.A. Professor of English, 1865–1880 : [drawing]

Item is a portrait of James DeMille rendered in pen and ink on illustration board. Also within the folder is a label originally taped to the drawing that gives its title and "no. 13 —", probably referring to its suggested placement in the order of illustrations that appear in One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), for which it was commissioned. The image was reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938).

Meet of the Tandem Club on the Grand Parade in front of the old college : [drawing]

Item is a pen and ink drawing by Lismer copied from an earlier lithograph by W. Eager and contains the Strathmore drawing board platemark in the bottom right corner. It was commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), and reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938).

Rev. Allan Pollok, D.D. One of the Fathers of Reorganization in 1863 : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer portrait of Allan Pollock rendered in pen and ink on illustration board. Also within the folder is a label originally taped to the drawing that gives its title and "no. 9 —", probably referring to its suggested placement in the order of illustrations that appear in One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), the publication for which it was commissioned.

Rev. George Munro Grant, D.D. One of the Fathers of Reorganization in 1863 : [drawing]

Item is a portrait of George Munro Grant rendered off-centre in pen and ink on illustration board. Also within the folder is a label originally taped to the drawing that gives its title and "no. 8 —", probably referring to its suggested placement in the order of illustrations that appear in One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), the publication for which it was commissioned. The image was reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938) and P.B. Waite, The Lives of Dalhousie University, Volume One, 1818–1925 (1994).

Rev. Thomas McCulloch, D.D. First president, 1838–1843 : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer portrait of Thomas McCulloch (based on an 1850 painting by Daniel Munro), rendered in pen and ink on paper and mounted on illustration board. Also within the folder is a partial label originally taped to the drawing that gives its title and "no. 7 —", probably referring to its suggested placement in the order of illustrations that appear in One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), the publication for which it was commissioned. The image was reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938).

Richard Chapman Weldon, LL.D. Dean of the Law School, 1883–1914 : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer portrait of Richard Weldon rendered in pen and ink on illustration board; the top right corner of the reverse side contains the date-received stamp from the printer's engraving department—Mar 27 1920—and there are faint marks of erased notes on the front. Also within the folder is a label originally taped to the drawing that gives its title and "No 18—", probably referring to its suggested placement in the order of illustrations that appear in One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), for which it was commissioned. The image was reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938).

Sir William Young, Kt. Chairman of the Board of Governors, 1848–1885 : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer portrait of William Young (based on an 1878 painting by Alfred T. Barrett) rendered in pen and ink on illustration board; the top left corner has the Strathmore drawing board platemark. Also within the folder is a label originally taped to the drawing that gives its title and "No 19—", probably referring to its suggested placement in the order of illustrations that appear in One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), for which it was commissioned. The image was reproduced again in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938).

The Macdonald Memorial Library. Erected at Studley, 1914 : [drawing]

Item is an Arthur Lismer illustration of Dalhousie University's Macdonald Memorial Library rendered in pen and ink on illustration board, commissioned for One Hundred Years at Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920) and reproduced in G. Kelly, Arthur Lismer: Nova Scotia, 1916–1919 (1982) and P.B. Waite, The Lives of Dalhousie University, Volume One, 1818–1925 (1994). Note the artist's initials in the bottom right corner of the main frame.

The Right Honourable George Ramsay. Ninth Earl of Dalhousie. Founder of Dalhousie College : [drawing]

Item is a portrait of Lord Dalhousie copied from an earlier painting; the decorative border framing the drawing is partially rendered on paper and affixed to the illustration board. The drawing was commissioned for One Hundred Years of Dalhousie, 1818–1918 (1920), and reproduced in D.C. Harvey, An Introduction to the History of Dalhousie University (1938).
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