Fonds - Henry Sandham fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Henry Sandham fonds

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Fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1880-1913, predominant 1880-1900 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

11cm of textual records and other material.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Born and educated in Montreal, Henry Sandham (1842-1910) began his artistic career working for the William Notman photographic studio as an assistant to John Arthur Fraser, the head of the art department, probably around 1860. When Fraser moved to Toronto in 1868, Sandham became head of Notman's art department and later became a partner in the business (1877) whereupon the studio was renamed Notman and Sandham. During the 1870s, Sandham developed his skills as a painter and illustrator and took part in the artistic life of Montreal, exhibiting frequently both there and in Ontario. An active member of the Canadian Society of Artists, he was made a charter member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1880. While he remained a partner with Notman until 1882, Sandham left Montreal in April 1880, studying in England and France before moving to Boston in late 1880. There he continued his work as an illustrator of books and magazines as well as a painter of portraits, landscapes and historical subjects. An important commission was his well known painting of the Battle of Lexington "The Dawn of Liberty", begun in 1886. Sandham left Boston for Europe early in 1901, finally settling in England some years later. He continued his work as an illustrator and painter, exhibiting several times at the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts. Although his historical and imaginative works are now regarded as "rather sentimental," Sandham excelled as an illustrator and was a keen observer of the lands he knew firsthand - Canada, California, Haiti, and the Azores. He was part of the landscape movement in Canadian art at the time of Confederation and his paintings and watercolours on Canadian subjects, notably that of Sir John A. Macdonald (1889) (now hanging in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa) and his scenes of the St. Lawrence River, the Gaspe, and the Maritime provinces, are currently judged to be "the most outstanding of his works." Henry Sandham died in England in 1910. A commemorative exhibition of his works was held at Earl's Court in London in 1911. (Sources: Pierre B. Landry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, Henry Sandham Artist's File held by the Clara Lander Library, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Dr. Stephen J. Kostyshyn.)

Custodial history

It is believed that the items described here were acquired from Canadian art collector Leo Heaps who had purchased these items at auction in 1980. The seller was identified as J. Denyer, Esq., a descendent of the artist.

Scope and content

The items described here consist of personal correspondence and documents pertaining to Sandham's artistic commissions, photographic and print reproductions of Sandham's works, and a scrapbook of news clippings.

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access; advance notice required to view.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

No reproduction without prior written approval.

Finding aids

The Finding Aid is the fonds description.

Associated materials

Related material: For further information about the artist's works and career, see Henry Sandham's artist's file, held in the Winnipeg Art Gallery Library and Archives. Reference material found in Henry Sandham's artist's file was donated by Winnipegger Bruce Walter, who is descended from Ernest Alexander Sandham's daughter Jessie. (Ernest Sandham was a son of Henry's brother Alfred and thus Henry Sandham's nephew.)

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No further accruals are expected.

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  • English

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