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Royal B.C. Museum marks Black History Month with 'significant acquisition'

Grafton Tyler Brown's "Entrance to the Harbor" is shown. (Royal B.C. Museum) Grafton Tyler Brown's "Entrance to the Harbor" is shown. (Royal B.C. Museum)
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The Royal B.C. Museum has added what it calls "a major new artwork" to its collection.

Entrance to the Harbor is a painting by African American artist Grafton Tyler Brown. It was completed in 1883 in Victoria, one of "very few works" Brown produced in the city, according to the museum.

"This is a significant acquisition - supporting the museum’s collection strategy - that paints an inclusive portrait of late-19th-century B.C.," the museum said in a news release Friday.

The museum is celebrating its new acquisition and marking Black History Month with a virtual lecture, which it is hosting in partnership with the University of Victoria's Department of History.

Art historian Kirsten Pai Buick, associate dean of equity and excellence at the University of New Mexico, will speak on Brown's "unique career" and the continued importance of his work in a lecture titled "Go West Young Man: Grafton Tyler Brown's Landscapes and the Complexities of the Frontier."

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Pai Buick to help us celebrate and better understand Grafton Tyler Brown,” said Jason M. Colby, chair of UVic's Department of History, in the release.

“Brown is known today as the first and one of the best Black landscape painters of the Pacific Northwest and his paintings provide a unique window into British Columbia history.”

The museum has added Entrance to the Harbor to its online exhibition "100 Objects of Interest," which features "outstanding highlights" from among the more than seven million historical objects in the museum's collection.

The painting was purchased through the legacy gift of Elizabeth Munro Rithet, according to the Royal B.C. Museum. The museum purchased the painting from the Uno Langmann Limited Fine Art Gallery in Vancouver. 

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