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There will be a Vernissage at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery this Saturday 28 January at 7pm. Featuring the sketches and water colours of Caroline Louisa Daly (1832-1893)

She was the daughter of Sir Dominick Daly, Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward Island from 1854-1859. The family lived at Government House also known as Fanningbank in Charlottetown.

The Official Residence was built in 1834 and the first Lieutenant-Governor moved in and died promptly in 1835 of pneumonia,the house is on an expose piece of land facing the Strait of Northumberland, very windy and was not then well insulated.

When the Daly family moved in some 20 years later the conditions in the house had been improved. Caroline who was born in Montreal in 1832 when her father, an Irish native of Galway, was serving as Colonial Secretary in Lower-Canada. Sir Dominick would have a long career in the Imperial Service and the family would move all over the world as he was promoted from post to post.

Caroline documented where they lived and what she saw in her sketches and water colours. She left us a wonderful record of life on the Island between 1854-59. We have precious few artistic rendering and documented memories of Fanningbank and thanks to her and her father we have a link to the past. The curator of the exhibit Paige Matthie also did a wonderful job of clearing up a long standing mistake on attribution of those sketches. Many decades ago poorly done research had attributed the work to two fellows also named Daly who lived in Montreal. They had never visited the Island and there was no link between the artwork and them but for some unknown reason it was assumed they were the authors.

The Daly family has also given us more works by Caroline Louisa Daly and other documents related to Sir Dominick.

This is truly a beautiful exhibit and it is opening in a few days.

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Fanningbank in Winter

If you look closely you will see on the right in the background the steeple of St-James Presbyterian and people skating on Government pond.

What is interesting, because of her water colours and sketches of Fanningbank during renovations in the 1930’s and later, these art works were used as a reference for historians and architects.

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The Ice Sugar Cone in front of Momontrency Falls near Quebec City

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Countryside PEI