(1820 - 1891)
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Washington Friend Biography
(1820 - 1891)
Believed to have been named for the city of his birth, Washington Friend’s family moved to Canterbury, England in 1842, after spending almost four decades in the United States. Friend moved back to the U.S. in 1845, intent on becoming an art teacher.
Following numerous setbacks, Friend acquired funding in 1849 to paint a ‘Panorama of Canada and the United States.’ The following two years contained Friend’s travels along the U.S./Canadian border, visiting several cities including Montreal, Kingston, Toronto and the Niagara region. The resulting canvas was unveiled in Quebec, as part of a performance by the artist, the painting and production then touring North America and the United Kingdom. Queen Victoria was impressed by Friend’s command performance at Buckingham Palace, leading the Queen to select one of the sketches from the project.
Washington Friend produced multiple volumes related to his travels and work, 1858’s ”Guidebook to Mr. Washington Friend’s Great American Tour of Five Thousand Miles in Canada and the United States” detailed the painter’s panorama project, while 1859’s “Our Summer Retreats - A Handbook of all the Waterfalls, Springs and Places of Interest in U.S.” provided images and details of Friend’s subsequent work.
Friend’s work was exhibited at the Art Association of Montreal and the Canadian Section of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London and can be found in private and institutional collections in Canada and the United States.