A George Agnew Reid painting has returned to Huron County thanks to a donation of the painting The Homeseekers Fording the Credit to the Huron County Museum.
Homeseekers Fording the Credit was recently donated to the Museum from the Perkins Bull Collection. Most of the collection’s archival holdings were donated to the Region of Peel Archives, who recognized the connection to Huron County and reached out to the Museum seeking a new home for the piece. The painting was received by the Museum in early October and is now on display in the upper Agricultural Hall.
George Agnew Reid was a Canadian artist, painter, and influential educator who is best known as a genre painter, depicting scenes from ordinary life which were largely inspired by his early memories of Huron County. Born in 1860 on his family’s farm in Wingham, Reid briefly apprenticed with an architect before studying at the Ontario School of Art, Toronto, in 1879. He then studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he was a protégé of Thomas Eakins. He later became interested in mural painting, and in 1897, founded the Society of Mural Decorators in Toronto with Frederick Challener, William Cruickshank, and Edmund Wyly Grier. In 1903, with the help of others, he founded the Arts and Crafts Society of Canada, which became known as the Canadian Society of Applied Art in 1905.
In the 1930s, William Perkins Bull, a lawyer and financier, was injured in Chicago and came back to Toronto to recuperate. During this time, he amassed a large selection of Canadian art, including The Homeseekers Fording the Credit, which is based on one of Reid’s landmark works, The Homeseekers, an historical presentation of pioneering days that uses the Maitland River as its backdrop.
“Bull had, by the 1930s, begun a special Peel Memorial Collection at Brampton, to which Canadian artists were asked to contribute examples of their work painted in Peel County. Since The Homeseekers has a setting not unlike that of Peel County, Bull asked Reid to donate the original to this collection but since it was set into the wall of the artist’s studio-workshop, Reid decided that he could not part with it. Instead, he painted a replica.” – George Reid biography.
The Huron County Museum wishes to thank the Perkins Bull Collection for generously donating this painting to its collection, the Region of Peel Archives for coordinating this donation, and TOTAL Fine Arts for safely delivering the painting to Huron County.
Installed in the Museum’s permanent exhibit space, visitors can enjoy the painting during regular visits to the Museum.