The Royal Province of Nova Scotia and the Crown
September 14, 2013 - March 30, 2014
Curator: Dianne O'Neill
Seduced by Google Images, we may feel cheated today if a history book contains no pictures. The appearance of illustrated volumes of monarchs and other grand personages dates to the early eighteenth century. These led to a proliferation of mass market illustrated histories by the mid nineteenth century that are the sources for most of the royal portraits in our collection. Idealized, stylized, or realistic, these portraits reflect the needs and aims of the society producing them, whether the sophisticated antiquarian portraits of the early eighteenth century, the stylized coronation-robed figures of the late eighteenth, or the realistic portrayals of the late nineteenth century.
Henry VII is the first monarch of record with a documented interest in the area now known as Nova Scotia. Prints of Henry Tudor and the twenty-two monarchs who have followed him accompany prints, drawings, maps, and sculpture that reflect their connections to Nova Scotia and its people in this exhibition. From the early Stuart kings, James VI and I and Charles I, Nova Scotia received its modern name and its coat of arms. In 1630, Sekipt, the Mi’kmaw “king” of New Scotland visited Charles I at Whitehall. The Mi’kma’ki lands were designated as Norumbega and Cap Britton on the earliest European maps of the region, but beginning in the seventeenth century, reflecting the almost perpetual state of war between France and England, as Acadia or Nova Scotia and Isle Royale or Cape Breton. Resolution finally came during the Hanover era and two of George III’s sons lived for a time in the province. Four of Queen Victoria’s children visited the province, as has every monarch since her.