Henry Sandham, 1883
Born in 1842 and educated in Montreal, Henry Sandham began his artistic career working for the William Notman photographic studio as an assistant to John Arthur Fraser, the head of the art department, probably around 1860. When Fraser moved to Toronto in 1868, Sandham became head of Notman's art department and later became a partner in the business (1877) whereupon the studio was renamed Notman and Sandham. During the 1870s, Sandham developed his skills as a painter and illustrator and took part in the artistic life of Montreal. While he remained a partner with Notman until 1882, Sandham left Montreal in April 1880, studying in England and France before moving to Boston in late 1880. An important commission was his well-known painting of the Battle of Lexington "The Dawn of Liberty", begun in 1886. Sandham left Boston for Europe early in 1901, finally settling in England some years later. He continued his work as an illustrator and painter. Henry Sandham died in England in 1910.
Sandham was a painter of portraits, landscapes and historical subjects.
Sandham was an illustrator of books and magazines as well as a painter.
An active member of the Canadian Society of Artists, Sandham was made a charter member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1880.
During the 1870s, Sandham exhibited frequently both in Montreal and in Ontario. From 1901, he exhibited several times at the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. A commemorative exhibition of his works was held at Earl's Court in London in 1911.
The painting of Sir John A. Macdonald (1889) is now hanging in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
Source: The Winnipeg Art Gallery Archives