M988.98.2 | Mrs. George A. Drummond, Lady Drummond

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Mrs. George A. Drummond, Lady Drummond
Robert Harris
About 1897, 19th century
Oil on canvas
37 x 29.3 cm
Gift of the Estate of Mr. Guy Drummond
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  female (19035) , Painting (2229) , painting (2227) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Much philanthropy was motivated by a mixture of the desire to help others and the conviction that there was something fundamentally wrong with people who needed help. There were always some reformers who argued that charity encouraged dependence and should be distributed sparingly. This movement took concrete form in the Charity Organization Societies (COS) started in England in 1869. The so-called "scientific" charity its proponents advocated was based on the investigation of applications to reduce unnecessary giving, the co-ordination of different organizations to increase efficiency and reduce fraud, and the attempt to instill self-reliance rather than distribute relief. A COS was formed in Montreal in 1900 largely through the initiative of the Montreal Local Council of Women. Cooperation between the private charities increased in the 20th century to include joint funding appeals and even communal social workers. New umbrella organizations, such as the Family Welfare Association and the Council of Social Agencies, were also created.

  • What

    Lady Julia Drummond, first president of the Montreal Local Council of Women, was the prime mover behind the successful organisation of the COS in Montreal.

  • Where

    Lady Drummond, a leading philanthropist, was also involved in the work of the Canadian Red Cross during the Great War, and in the 1920s opened a home for girls in Montreal.

  • When

    The portrait, executed by the famous Canadian painter Robert Harris (1849-1919), dates from 1897. At this time Lady Drummond was an active member of the Council of Women and involved in forming the Victorian Order of Nurses.

  • Who

    Grace Julia Parker Drummond was born in 1859 in Montreal and lived there most of her life.