Philippa Abrahams, Major-General, Sir Isaac Brock (1985),
Collection of RiverBrink Art Museum.
This banner exhibition, designed to celebrate and commemorate the War of 1812-14, features art works, artifacts and archival material from the collection at RiverBrink along with loans from both public and private collections. The exhibit showcases both the international context of the war through the perspective of British, American, Canadian and First Nations participants, and the conduct of the war in the immediate vicinity of Queenston.
The starting point for the exhibition is life in Queenston and Niagara in the years leading up to the War of 1812-14. Views of the local area, by U.S. Americans and British garrison artists, are featured along with Indian medals, trade silver and rare books. Depictions of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the aftereffects of the American Revolution are important aspects of the display.
The exhibition continues with an exploration of the life of Isaac Brock. It includes views of Guernsey and Niagara Falls.
The exhibition ends with an exploration of the legacy of the war and representations of Brock as martyr and Canadian hero. Brock’s monument, an important focal point for commemoration, has been the subject of numerous paintings and prints. Along with depictions of the monument itself are views looking out over the Niagara River from the top of the monument. These views suggest ways the monument evolved from a site of martyrdom to a new status as another stop for tourists visiting Niagara Falls. The display includes subsequent published assessments of the victory and details the posthumous celebration of Brock as the Hero of Canada.
Curated by Debra Antoncic and Cameron Ward