Ruled by His Warden with Stick and with Voice
January 26 - May 7, 2013
Curator: Sarah Hollenberg
Ruled by His Warden with Stick and with Voice explores the role played by prints—especially those distributed in popular media such as books and newspapers—in the "taming" of British North America in the period leading up to and immediately following Confederation. Early representations of Canadian landscapes, resources and people in European geography texts and maps worked to convince settlers and investors of the value of an inhospitable landscape. The narratives of explorers in the north sold a grand adventure, while the accounts of soldiers bragged of sporting exploits in the bush. Naturalists broke down complex ecosystems into books full of specimens, and missionaries worked tirelessly to break the bonds between indigenous communities and their cultural and material traditions. Curiosity, economic acquisitiveness, and political and military contests all contributed to European colonial expansion, and these prints help us to understand the role of visual communication in this process.
Image: Johann Elias Ridinger, The
Taming of the Lion, #1, Etching on paper, 26.2 x 23.8 cm, Gift
of Ingrid I. Robinson, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1991, SC1991.5