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Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly

“Government House In Winter With Sleigh”, a watercolour painting by Caroline Louisa Daly.
“Government House In Winter With Sleigh”, a watercolour painting by Caroline Louisa Daly.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – A two-year research project delving into the work of Caroline Louisa Daly has resulted in a new exhibition of historic watercolours opening Jan. 14, as well as the revised attribution of the works themselves.

Daly was the daughter of former P.E.I. Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Dominick Daly (Lt.-Gov. 1854-1859). Born in Lower Canada in 1832, she travelled to England, P.E.I., and Australia with her father on his various appointments in the British colonial administration. Those trips inspired the art she became known for.

Presented by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, “Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly” is the result of two years of research conducted by Paige Matthie, gallery registrar and exhibition curator. Matthie’s exploration confirmed that the previously held attribution of art works to both Charles L. Daly, a clerk for the City of Toronto and art instructor, and John Corry Wilson Daly, a merchant and politician of Stratford, Ont. – neither of any relation - were both incorrect, and that the true artist was Caroline Louisa Daly.

Matthie’s research around the works in question focused on two areas: biographical examination of the persons related to the study to place them in geography at specific times in history, and an inspection of the works themselves for signatures, inscriptions, and the general style of the work.

“Once you sit down and look at the works and compare them to the works in other collections - both the family’s and those held by Library and Archives Canada - it becomes clear that we’ve been in error for quite some time,” remarks Matthie.

“Caroline Louisa Daly was not a professional artist in the way we understand today, yet she upheld a consistent artistic practice throughout her life, sketching and painting the subjects of her daily life, as well as looking to other artists for inspiration,” she continues.

“Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly” opens Jan. 14 in the Young People’s Gallery and will be on exhibit until May 7. The gallery’s winter hours for visitation are Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

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