Melville Island Print by George Isham Parkyns
George Isham Parkyns came to America in 1794, bringing with him his talents for landscape architecture and landscape painting, with a specialty for picturesque views. He settled near Philadelphia having bought land in the U.S. on speculation back in England. Parkyns planned on publishing a series of aquatint views of American cities but the project failed due to a lack of subscribers. Only a few views were produced including Washington D.C., Mount Vernon, and four views of Halifax.
As we can see from this fine image, his project did not fail from a lack of talent. Parkyns returned to England shortly after this print was published in 1801. This rare print (
left) corresponds well with an earlier acquisition of a watercolor painting
) of the Melville Island prison at Halifax where American captives from the War of 1812 were held, as well as numerous maps of the area.
This purchase was made possible by the Helen E. Tanner Fund. Dr. Tanner provided this important acquisition support through a bequest. If you are interested in leaving a legacy through a planned gift, you can find more information