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National Tour

Clark Prize

Special Installation


50 Favorites
Arthur Devis
British, c. 1711–1787
Richard Moretan, Esq., of Tackley with His Nephew and Niece John and Susanna Weyland
1757
Oil on canvas
A gift of the estate of Florence Cluett Chambers, 2001
2001.1.6

  "The young girl in the painting is offering fish caught by her brother in a basket made by Cree Indians in northern Canada. During the mid-eighteenth century, thousands of British soldiers went to North America to fight the French in the Seven Years' War. This small detail opens up a story of cross-cultural contact and exchange, and suggests how the British during this period experienced their colonial involvement in a distant land. It also suggests that children were commonly given foreign curios as 'educational toys.' Very similar baskets of the same period in the British Museum were given to a 'Miss Nellie Middleton,' probably the daughter of a naval officer who explored the coast of Hudson's Bay in the 1730s."

Ruth Phillips
Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture, Carleton University, Ottawa, and Clark Fellow, 2003



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