How racism kept B.C.’s ‘first professional painter’ from fame

How racism kept B.C.’s ‘first professional painter’ from fame – British Columbia – CBC News – Feb 4, 2017

Grafton Tyler Brown was an African American artist who painted breathtaking B.C. landscapes

If you have a painting on your wall with a signature G.T. Brown in the bottom right corner, it’s worth a lot of money — and a lot of interest to B.C. art historians.

The largely unknown African-American artist Grafton Tyler Brown held an art gallery in Victoria in the late 1800s, where he sold dozens of paintings

And now, more than a century later, a handful are on display in Victoria’s Legacy Art Gallery.

But the rest are scattered throughout the province, according to University of Victoria historian John Lutz. And they’re valued at more than $70,000 apiece.

“They’ve never been gathered together,” Lutz told host Jason D’Souza on CBC’s North by Northwest. “He had the one exhibit in 1883, and now we’re having a second showing in Victoria 134 years later.”

But who was Grafton Tyler Brown, and why are his images so significant?

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