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A Fluid Play of Interchangeable Signs: Anna Jameson's Canadian Sketches, 1836-1837


A Fluid Play of Interchangeable Signs: Anna Jameson's Canadian Sketches, 1836-1837

Mills, Alexandra (2010) A Fluid Play of Interchangeable Signs: Anna Jameson's Canadian Sketches, 1836-1837. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
Mills_MA_F2010.pdf - Accepted Version


It was not unusual for travelers to Britain’s colonies to record their experiences and impressions in journals as well as in watercolor drawings in the nineteenth century. In fact, at this time there was an increasing demand for visual information about the new world, and visitors, settlers and explorers alike were encouraged to document their surroundings. This was a practice that was enthusiastically adopted by many amateur women artists visiting North America, including Anna Jameson (1794-1860), but artists such as Jameson were not always able to translate the firmly established European pictorial traditions to which they were accustomed to Canada’s landscapes. The disjuncture between Jameson’s knowledge, which was rooted in romantic ideology, and her stay in Canada is apparent in her drawings. This thesis investigates Anna Jameson’s visual representations in Canada and considers how she negotiated the often-contradictory frameworks of femininity and colonialism in her pencil and watercolor sketches of the landscape. The issue of freedom and its associations with travel is of particular importance as it had an undeniable effect on Jameson’s ability to define herself as she traveled through Canada’s wilderness, ostensibly – although not always – away from limitations related to her gender. Imagination, emotion, and knowledge also played important roles in the evolution of her selfhood, and consequently, in her representations of Canada’s landscape. Jameson’s attempts at self-definition and the emotional transformations that occurred over the course of her travels are reflected in her depictions of Canada’s wilderness – particularly in her water themed images.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mills, Alexandra
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:15 September 2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):Huneault, Kristina
ID Code:6902
Deposited On:01 Dec 2010 15:48
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:29
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