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Section title: What's New

What's New

Peter Winkworth (1929-2005)

It is with great regret and sadness that I have heard of the passing of Canadian collector Peter Winkworth, C.M., who did so much to further the goals of Library and Archives Canada. Peter was a great man - a scholar, a collector, and a dynamic and energetic human being. His passion for Canada, which he expressed so strongly in his collections of works of art, books, and objects, was also obvious in his knowledge of Canadian history, which he shared through his writings, his exhibitions, and through his meetings with interested curators, archivists, and academics. I especially admired his knowledge of his, and my, native city, Montréal, which was so evident in the 1992 McCord Museum exhibition on the 250th anniversary of Montréal, for which so many of the works on display came from the Winkworth Collection. Over the years, so many people told me about his magnetic character, and his ability to attract people of intellect. He will be sorely missed.

Peter Winkworth was born on April 25, 1929. He attended Bishop's College School in Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada and Wadham College, Oxford, England. As well, he worked as a stockbroker for a Canadian firm in London, England. His passion for Canadiana began with his purchase of a set of Canadian prints from his uncle, John Barnard.

Driven by his new interest, he pursued acquisitions at auctions and through dealers, mainly in Toronto, Montréal, New York and London. He studied the Canadian art collections at the National Archives of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum and the McCord Museum, where he was made honorary curator of prints. His knowledge of Canadiana collections is legendary among art curators and archivists. His expertise in Canadiana prints, a special passion, was formidable.

In the 1970s, he began working as an unpaid consultant, helping to repatriate many important works of art relating to Canada for major national institutions, in particular for the National Archives of Canada. Mr. Winkworth was awarded the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1983 for his contributions to Canada's cultural heritage.

In 2002, Library and Archives Canada acquired a collection of more than 4,000 works of art from Mr. Winkworth, most of them unique and important visual records of our country's development. This collection has formed the basis of five travelling exhibitions which will soon be touring across Canada, and can be explored through Library and Archives Canada website at: www.collectionscanada.ca/art/index-e.html.

Our condolences are extended to the family of a man who has made a great contribution to Canada's collective memory.

Ian E. Wilson


For historical news releases please visit:

List item Library and Archives Canada - What's New Archives (2005)
List item Library and Archives Canada - What's New Archives (2004)
List item National Archives of Canada - News & Events Archive (1999-2003)
List item News Releases of the National Library of Canada (1996-2003)