George Henry Andrews, <em>The Prince of Wales in Halifax</em>, 1860, hand-coloured wood engraving, 40.0 x 27.1 cm. Gift of John and Norma Oyler, 1995.439/40

An Abecedary of Printmakers in Nova Scotia

Saturday, 21 October 2017 to Sunday, 4 March 2018

October 21, 2017 - March 4, 2018

Curator: Dianne O’Neill
John and Norma Oyler Gallery

An Abecedary is an ABC Book, usually in the format of “A is for Anchor that rests on the wharf”, “B is for Bear that avoided the trap”, and so on, to “Z is for Zebra that comes at the end”. This exhibition has no zebra, but it does have "Z is for Zwicker". The Anchor here is an etching by Richard Wilcox, and Obsolete Bear Trap, one by Cecil Day, so “W is for Wilcox” here, and “D is for Day”. This Abecedary is about the people who made the images. For some letters there was surfeit of possibilities – as in Champlain to Colville or Short to Syliboy – but a dearth of possibilities for others – think I, Q, or X! This particular selection of printmakers barely scratches the surface, and its verses satisfy Northrop Frye’s observation that doggerel never reaches the associative qualities of true poetry.


A is for Andrews, who came with the Prince,

On the first foreign tour by a Royal.

He sketched Halifax and its citizens loyal,

And published his drawings as prints.