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FITZGIBBON, Agnes Dunbar Moodie

Cobourg, Ontario, 1833
Toronto, Ontario, 1913
Biography synopsis
Agnes Fitzgibbon (née Dunbar Moodie) learned to paint flower pictures from her mother Susanna Moodie. She married barrister Charles Fitzgibbon who died when she was only 32, leaving her with a family to support. She decided to put together a volume of flower illustrations, with text provided by Catharine Parr Traill's lengthy manuscript. Fitzgibbon then acquired a specially prepared block of limestone from a printer, on which she drew the first of her own exquisite floral designs and printed 500 plates. While selling subscriptions for "Canadian Wild Flowers" in Ottawa, she was introduced to her future husband, Colonel Brown Chamberlin, a lawyer, owner of the Gazette (Montreal), who was later appointed Queens Printer. Her work was shown at the Philadelphia Centennial exhibition from 1864-1867. Her collection is held in the Department of Botany at the University of Toronto.
Media used
Artists' illustrated books
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
Brock University Library, ON - James A. Gibson Library

Writings about
"Women's Canadian Historical Society." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 10 Oct. 1913: 5.
Alston, Sandra and Anne Dondertman. Women artists and botanical illustration in the nineteenth century: a guide to the exhibition case, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 16 August 1993-1 October 1993. Toronto: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 1993.
Ayre, Robert. "Botanical Congress Inspires Museum's Four-Artist Exhibit." Montreal Star 29 Aug. 1959.
Beaudette, Mary Anne. "Two for the bookshelf." Kingston Whig-Standard 10 Jan. 2004: 2.
Christoph Irmscher. "Nature Writing." The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004: 94-114.
Dickenson, Victoria. First Impressions: European Views of the Natural History of Canada from the 16th to the 19th Century. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1992.
Dignam, Mary Ella. "Canadian Women in the Development of Art." Women of Canada: Their Life and Work. Toronto: National Council of Women of Canada, 1900.
Gray, Charlotte. Sisters in the Wilderness: The lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill. Toronto: Viking, 1999.
Gray, Charlotte. "Wild at Heart." Canadian Geographic 119.6 (Sept-Oct. 1999): 44-51.
Guillet, Edwin Clarence. The Valley of the Trent. Toronto: Champlain Society, 1957.
Harper, J. Russell. Early Painters and Engravers in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970.
Harper, J. Russell. Painting in Canada: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966, 2nd edition 1977.
Huneault, Kristina. I'm Not Myself at All: Women, Art, and Subjectivity in Canada. Montreal; Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018.
Johnston, E. F. B. "Painting and Sculpture in Canada." Canada and Its Provinces. Toronto: Glasgow, Brook and Co, 1914.
Lightstone, Susan. "Garden of Edinburgh: In a fantasy come true, Liz Kane became the owner of one of Canada's most historical gardens." Ottawa Citizen 10 Jun. 2001: C8.
MacDonald, Florence. "Strickland Family Artists." Canadian Antiques Collector (Apr. 1967): 6-8.
McKendry, Blake. A to Z of Canadian Art: Artists and Art Terms. Kingston: B. McKendry, 1997.
McKendry, Blake. Dictionary of Folk Artists in Canada: From the 17th Century to the Present. Elginburg: Blake McKendry, 1988.
Morgan, Henry James. The Canadian Men and Women of the Time: A Handbook of Canadian Biography. Toronto: William Briggs, 1898.
National Council of Women of Canada. Women of Canada: Their Life and Work. Montreal: National Council of Women, 1975.
Needler, G. H. Otonabee Pioneers: The Story of the Stewarts, the Stricklands, the Traills and the Moodies. Toronto: Burns & MacEachern, 1953.
Orwen, Patricia. "Women Made Star News: Memorial Number changed paper's status quo for a single day." Toronto Star 24 May 1992: G12.
Partridge, F. G. "Stewarts and the Stricklands, the Moodies and the Traills." Ontario Library Review 40 (Aug. 1956): 179-81.
Petteys, Chris, et al. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
Robbins, John Everett, ed. Encyclopedia Canadiana. Ottawa: Canadiana Company of Canada, Grolier Society of Canada, 1957.
Sanford, M. Bourchier. "Some Woman Writers of Canada." Godey's Magazine (Jul. 1897): 13.
Sigmund Samuel Canadiana Gallery. Two Gentlewomen of Upper Canada. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1977.
Tippett, Maria. By a Lady. Toronto: Viking, 1992.
Traill, C. P. Studies of Plant Life in Canada: Wild Flowers, Flowering Shrubs, and Grasses. Toronto: William Briggs, 1906.
Traill, Catharine Parr and Agnes Fitzgibbon. Canadian Wildflowers. Almonte: Algrove, 2003 (reprint).
Weaver, Emily. "Women of Canada: Agnes Dunbar Moodie, Artist and Botanist." Canadian Home Journal (May 1924).
Webster, John Clarence. Catalogue of the John Clarence Webster Canadiana Collection. Saint John, New Brunswick: New Brunswick Museum, 1946.

Writings by
Fitzgibbon, Agnes and Catherine Parr Strickland Traill. Canadian Wild Flowers: Painted and Lithographed. Montreal: J. Lovell, 1868.

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