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History of Canada series

Anton Nielsen, Joseph Joanisse, Eleanor Milne.
Anton Nielsen, Joseph Joanisse, R. Eleanor Milne.

The History of Canada series is a monumental frieze consisting of low and high reliefs with a total length of over 30 metres. The sculptures in the series form a narrative which provides a depiction of the development of our country, bookended with the arrival of the First Peoples and the settlement of the United Empire Loyalists, and covering such signal events as the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the arrival of the railway, and the Klondike Gold Rush.

Combining the boldness of the Romanesque style with the naturalism and delicacy of Gothic sculpture, the limestone reliefs are meant to be read like the sculptures of medieval buildings. Researched and designed by R. Eleanor Milne, Dominion Sculptor (1962-1993), this series was sculpted on site by nine carvers between 1962 and 1974.

Further reading: R. Eleanor Milne, with K. Barbara Lambert and Eleanor Moore, Captured in stone: Carving Canada's Past. Ottawa: Penumbra Press, 2002, 94 p.

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