Image PDP10284. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.
The Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria B.C. holds some of Brown’s Canadian works. In March 2018 the Museum and Friends of the BC Archives purchased this painting. The catalogue entry states: “from the farm of A. L. Fortune, head of navigation on the Spallumcheen River, B.C., Sketched October 6, 1882. [The farm of Alexander Leslie Fortune, one of the Overlanders of 1862, at what is now Enderby, B.C. with Enderby Cliffs in the background.] G.T. Brown’s signature can be seen in the lower left corner.
On June 25, 2019 the BC Black History Awareness Society in partnership with the Royal BC Museum and Archives and the Friends of the BC Archives hosted an event to commemorate Brown’s work and his art exhibit that took place on this same date in 1883. This painting was on display along with other artifacts related to B.C.’s Black Pioneers.
Dr. John Lutz, History Department Chair, University of Victoria says that Brown’s work is important because it shows us what the province looked like at a time when it was still largely an indigenous space, with a few settlers beginning to arrive. This particular painting is especially notable because it shows the then new homestead of Alexander Leslie Fortune, which formed the nucleus of what is now Enderby, B.C. at the head of navigation on the Spallumcheen River. What is now Enderby Cliffs Provincial Park is shown in the background. Fortune was one of the Overlanders of 1862, aspiring gold miners who pioneered a route to BC through the Rocky Mountains.