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AGNES CHAMBERLIN

1833

Born on a farm near Coburg, daughter of Susanna Moodie and John Dunbar Moodie; family subsequently moved to an uncleared farm in Peterborough County

ca.1838

Family moved to Belleville

ca.1850

At age 17 married Charles Fitzgibbon, a Toronto barrister, and moved to Toronto. Had six children in next 13 years.

1863

Began to paint studies of wild flowers to illustrate a projected book by Catherine Parr Traill on Canadian flora.

1865

Death of husband, Charles Fitzgibbon.

ca.1865–68

As a money-raising venture, began to prepare a book on Canadian wild flowers, using her paintings and C.P. Traill’s text. Gathered 500 subscriptions.

1868

Canadian Wild Flowers published in subscribed edition by John Lovell, Montreal.

1869

Second subscribed edition of Canadian Wild Flowers (Montreal: J. Lovell).

Third edition of Canadian Wild Flowers (Montreal: J. Lovell; Burland, Lafricain, chromoliths.)

1870

Married Colonel Brown Chamberlin of Montreal, who became Queen’s Printer of Canada.

1875

Exhibition of paintings by the “Dominion Government” at Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition

1885

Nine full page colour plates (chromolithographs) by Chamberlin published in C.P. Traill’s Studies of Plant Life in Canada (Ottawa: A.S. Woodburn)

1886

Exhibition of paintings by Agnes Chamberlin and her daughter, Geraldine Moodie, at the Colonial Exhibition, London, England.

1895

Fourth edition of Canadian Wild Flowers (Toronto: W. Briggs)

1906

Second edition of C.P. Traill’s Studies of Plant Life in Canada (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1906) included 12 additional half-tone reproductions of paintings by Chamberlin.

ca.1907

Exhibition of Chamberlin’s paintings held by the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Toronto in the East Hall of University College, University of Toronto.

1913

Died.

1934–5

Agnes Chamberlin’s heirs presented her paintings and copies of Canadian Wild Flowers and Studies of Plant Life in Canada to the University of Toronto. They were housed in the Botany Department.

1937

Brief exhibition of Chamberlin’s paintings at the Botany Building for the Biological Club’s Conversazione.

1966

Agnes Chamberlin collection transferred to the Rare Books and Special Collections of the University of Toronto Library.

1967

Small exhibition of Chamberlin’s watercolours at the Sigmund Samuel Library.

1972

Eleven watercolours by Chamberlin reproduced in Eustella Langdon’s Pioneer Gardens (Toronto: Holt Rinehart and Winston).

1976

Exhibition of Chamberlin watercolours at Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, July–August.

1977

Exhibition at Royal Ontario Museum’s Canadiana Gallery: “Two Gentlewomen of Upper Canada”, June 15 to September 18, 1977. Exhibition of watercolours and drawings by Agnes Chamberlin and Anne Langton.