We tend to take our artists, both contemporary and historical, for granted in Nova Scotia. Too often we fail to acknowledge the important role they play, or have played, in the development of the image we present to the world. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has worked hard to address that in our exhibition program, as part of our mission to bring the art of Nova Scotia to the world.
Forshaw Day obviously shared that sense of mission. He was one of the first artists to glorify the wilderness areas of our province, a harbinger of the strategy followed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage today. By sending his Nova Scotian landscapes to exhibitions in France, Great Britain, the United States, and central Canada, he introduced our beautiful province to wide audiences. Lauded in his own time, and appointed to the Royal Canadian Academy by the Marquess of Lorne as one of its original twenty-five artists, Day has long been considered Nova Scotia’s first professional landscape artist. We are proud to be re-introducing him to a new audience.
The co-curators have brought together records of his professional activity and a selection of paintings that represent the range of his particular vision. We extend special thanks to the National Gallery of Canada for the loan of his RCA Diploma painting to this exhibition in Halifax, to all the private collectors who have agreed to share their paintings with our members and visitors, and to the donors who have gifted the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia with Forshaw Day paintings over the years.