Royal BC Museum Celebrates Significant Grafton Tyler Brown Acquisition


The Royal BC Museum has added a major new artwork, Entrance to the Harbor, by African American artist Grafton Tyler Brown, to the collections.  This is a significant acquisition, supporting the museum’s collection strategy, that paints an inclusive portrait of late 19th century BC.

To celebrate this acquisition, Brown’s career and Black History Month, the museum has partnered with the University of Victoria Department of History to host a virtual lecture by art historian and Associate Dean of Equity and Excellence at the University of New Mexico Dr. Kirsten Pai Buick.

Scheduled for 5:00 pm on February 24, the lecture, titled Go West Young Man": Grafton Tyler Brown's Landscapes and the Complexities of the Frontier, will explore Brown’s unique career and the continued importance of his paintings today.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Pai Buick to help us celebrate and better understand Grafton Tyler Brown,” says Dr. Jason M. Colby, Department of History Chair at the University of Victoria. “Brown is known today as the first and one of the best Black landscape painters of the Pacific Northwest and his paintings provide a unique window into British Columbia History.”

Entrance to the Harbor has been added to the museum’s online exhibition, 100 Objects of Interest, which is reserved for outstanding highlights from the museum collections of more than seven million historical objects.

Completed in 1883, the painting is one of very few works from Brown’s stay in Victoria, BC. Entrance to the Harbor was the signature painting in Brown’s 1883 exhibition—billed as the first art exhibition in the City of Victoria (which was incorporated in 1863).

The painting was purchased from the Uno Langmann Limited Fine Art Gallery through the legacy gift of Elizabeth Munro Rithet.

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About the Royal BC Museum:  The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate and inspire. Located in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations), we are a hub of community connections in BC–onsite, offsite and online–taking pride in our collective histories.


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Sam Rich
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