1995.26.41 | Evening in Renforth
Evening in Renforth
Alexander A. Watson
1904, 20th century
Watercolour over graphite on wove paper
27.2 x 37.5 cm
Saint John Art Club Collection, 1995
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Keys to History
Between the census years of 1901 and 1911 New Brunswick recorded an overall increase in population. However, the rural counties of Carleton, Charlotte, York, Kings and Albert all recorded declines. Farmers found it increasingly difficult to hire labourers because so many had been lured away to the industrialized urban centres.
The art and literature of the period reflected the trend to rapid urbanization by romanticizing small-town life and rural values. Paintings and novels were infused with nostalgia for simpler, rural times. Common literary themes included praise for the traditional values of church and family, and a longing for an idyllic existence in nature, unspoiled by the perceived evils of modern urbanization.
The artist Alexander Watson used watercolour over graphite on wove paper for this 1904 painting, entitled Evening in Renforth.
Saint John artist Alexander Watson, studied art in New York City. He later painted many New Brunswick landscapes and scenes from everyday life.
Also appearing in the early 1900s was poet Charles G.D. Roberts's (1860-1943) The Heart That Knows (1906), which also dealt with themes of nostalgia and idealism in rural New Brunswick.
Alexander Watson was a member of the Saint John Art Club, which offered public lectures and classes on fine art.