WALTER JOSEPH PHILLIPS, R.C.A.
YORK BOAT ON LAKE WINNIPEG
woodcut, printed in colours
signed with monogram to the plate and signed, titled, and numbered 105/150 in pencil to the margin
sheet 11.75 ins x 15.5 ins; 29.2 cms x 38.7 cms
Walter Phillips boarded the steam ship Wolverine for a tour of Lake Winnipeg in 1928 and was moved by the sight of the old York boats discarded on the shores. He writes, “It was easy to imagine the fast canoes or the brigades of York boats coming round the bend. They say you could hear the crews singing before the boats came in sight. I could imagine that too, and the eager-ness and interest of the nice folk at the fort as they waited... This northern route was taken by picturesque brigades of York boats – big open boats propelled by the sweeps when the wind was insufficient to fill the square blanket sail. There are none left now. The last lay rotting on the banks of the Nelson: the sturdy frame that withstood the shocks of a passage of the rapids a thousand times, now yielding to the action of the weather.”
Maria Tippett and Douglas Cole, Phillips in Print:
The Selected Writings of Walter J. Phillips on Canadian Nature and Art, Manitoba Record Society, 1982, page 49, reproduced unpaginated plate.
Private Collection, Brampton, Ontario