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Halifax, Nova Scotia ?, ca 1880
Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1956
Biography synopsis
Only four of Edith Hester MacDonald's oil paintings produced between 1898-1906 survived a razing of Africville, a community in Halifax. They count among the earliest examples of fine art produced by an African Canadian woman in Canada. According to Mrs. Geraldine Parker, Edith MacDonald's granddaughter and steward of the four paintings, Edith MacDonald was an accomplished painter and an intelligent, tender and conservative woman, who may have studied in Montreal. She was the wife of William Brown; however, her paintings are signed Edith MacDonald suggesting she painted them before she was married. Unfortunately, there is little information regarding their production. While many questions remain unanswered about Edith MacDonald's work, the discovery of these paintings is a significant attestation of an African Canadian artistic presence prior to the twentieth century, a detail that contrasts popular Canadian art historical discourse.
Media used

Writings about
Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD University. In This Place: Black Art in Nova Scotia Curated by Harold Pearse and David Woods. Halifax, Nova Scotia: 2001/48
Barnard, Elissa. "Artists Find Way to the Heart of Africville." The Chronicle Herald Halifax, Nova Scotia: 18 Feb. 2012
Clarke, George Elliott. "Found Objects: In This Place...an Exhibition of Black Art in Nova Scotia." Mix 24.1 (summer 1998):40-43
Nelson, Charmaine (ed) et al.. Towards an African Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance Concord, Ontario: Captus Press, 2019
Oostveen, Joanne. "Museum Exhibit Honours African Nova Scotian Artists." Halifax NewsNet 7 Feb 2013
Simmonds, Veronica. "Uncovering History - Discovery: The Story of African Nova Scotian Art and Artists." The Coast Halifax, Nova Scotia: 16 Feb 2012

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