Black History Month – February 2021

The New Brunswick Museum collection of work by New Brunswick artists comprises about 2500 works depicting people, places, things and ideas.  In addition to providing a better understanding of the province, these paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture provide access to many stories.  As collections are better documented, digitized and made public, new information come to light.  New images relating to Black history are being catalogued and help to reveal the diversity of the province.  Whether it is the student work of Elizabeth Knowling Nethercoat (1919-2009) who painted some of her classmates or the figure drawings of an accomplished artist like Jack Weldon Humphrey (1901-1967) who looked to his own art class students and local newsboys as subjects – these works showing Black New Brunswickers can now be shared on a wider basis to tell a fuller story.

We are also fortunate to be able to feature the work of renowned Black artist, Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901) who was born in St. Andrews, NB, and established an illustrious career in Rhode Island, USA.

Edward Mitchell Bannister (1826-1901), a Black artist born in St. Andrews, NB, was recognized in childhood for his artistic abilities.  His copies of British engravings believed to be from the 1840s when he was a teenager, show his capabilities with watercolour, a very challenging medium to control.  After he emigrated to the United States, he established an illustrious career in Newport, Rhode Island.  A skilled landscape painting from the height of his career shows his capacity to evoke an atmosphere of stillness and quiet as evening falls.


Edward Mitchell Bannister, Canadian, 1828 – 1901
painting: Unidentified European Scene, 1841-1845
watercolour and ink ? over graphite on wove paper
Gift of Dr. Susan Calvert, 2018 (2018.15.3)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Elizabeth Knowling Nethercoat (Canadian, 1919 – 2009)
painting: Portrait of a Black Youth in a Suit, c. 1938
oil on canvas laid down on board
55.7 x 38.8 cm
Gift of Brian N. Mills, 2009 (2009.29.6)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Ted Campbell (Canadian, 1904 – 1985)
drawing: Girl Student Posing, c. 1950
brown laid paper
62.3 x 42.7 cm
Purchase, 1977 (1977.37.6)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Jack Weldon Humphrey (Canadian, 1901 – 1967)
painting: Untitled, 1924-1929
oil on canvas laid down on board
37.5 x 31.1 cm
Jack Weldon Humphrey and Jean Humphrey Memorial Collection, gift of John J. Corey, 2014 (2014.9.138)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901)
Landscape with Swamp and Trees, 1881
oil on canvas
Webster Museum Foundation purchase, 1959 (A59.46)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Fred Ross (Canadian, 1927 – 2014)
print: Head, 1949
offset lithograph on wove paper
35.6 x 21.7 cm
Anonymous gift, 1955 (A55.2)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Alice Delacour Jack, Canadian, 1847 – 1921
drawing: Great Aunt Fannie’s Servant Louisa [Louisa Grant], 1870-1900
graphite on wove paper
8.5 x 6 cm
Emma Carleton Jack Memorial Collection, gift of E. Portia MacKenzie, 1962 (9039)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Edward Mitchell Bannister, Canadian, 1828 – 1901
painting: Elgin Cathedral, Moray, Scotland, 1841-1845
watercolour and ink ? over graphite on wove paper
Gift of Dr. Susan Calvert, 2018 (2018.15.1)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Elizabeth Knowling Nethercoat (Canadian, 1919 – 2009)
drawing: Study of a Black Youth in a Suit, 1938
conté or crayon on wove paper
45.8 x 30.7 cm
Gift of Brian N. Mills, 2009 (2009.29.26)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Avery Maynard Shaw (Canadian, 1907 – 1957)
drawing: Head of A Woman, 1940-1955
conté crayon on wove paper
50.8 x 35.6 cm
Bequest of Avery Maynard Shaw, 1957 (X8608)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Jack Weldon Humphrey (Canadian, 1901 – 1967)
drawing: Untitled (Black Youth), c. 1935
charcoal on wove paper
58 × 45.6 cm
Jack Weldon Humphrey and Jean Humphrey Memorial Collection, gift of John J. Corey, 2014 (2014.9.234)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Jack Weldon Humphrey (Canadian, 1901 – 1967)
drawing: Untitled (Black Youth), 1930-1940
charcoal on wove paper
40.6 x 30.5 cm
Jack Weldon Humphrey and Jean Humphrey Memorial Collection, gift of John J. Corey, 2014 (2014.9.242)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Jack Weldon Humphrey, Canadian (1901 – 1967)
drawing: Untitled (Seated Figure), 1938-1941
graphite on wove paper
48.3 x 32.4 cm
Jack Weldon Humphrey and Jean Humphrey Memorial Collection, gift of John J. Corey, 2014 (2014.9.224)
New Brunswick Museum Collection


Edward Mitchell Bannister, Canadian, 1828 – 1901
painting: Unidentified European Scene, 1841-1845
watercolour and ink ? over graphite on wove paper
Gift of Dr. Susan Calvert, 2018 (2018.15.2)
New Brunswick Museum Collection