Death Comes Early in 19th Century Hamilton

Binkley Hallow Cemetery, Hamilton (Ont). Photo by @erskinec
Binkley Hallow Cemetery, Hamilton (Ont). Photo by @erskinec

In the early years of Hamilton, death was common and could come at any time.

Reverend John Miller took charge of Ancaster Church on August 8th, 1830 and kept a parish record from 1830 to 1838.
Scanning his entries, it is easy to discover how the young often had very short lives.

On May 22nd, 1831 Rev. Miller buried 6th month old Elias, the son of Andrew Todd and Sarah Ann Kirby.

David, son of Thomas and Margaret was born on Aug 27, 1830. Rev. Miller baptized David on Sept 20th, 1830, but one year later he was buried on Sept 23rd, 1831.

There is one story from the 1794 Annville, Pennsylvania tells how 150 on horseback and in carriages followed a young father riding a horse and cradling a small coffin in his arms

Locally, there was the story of William Notman who would a have a successful career in Canada politics.

William was born in Scotland (1805) and then moved to Dundas in 1821. In 1827, he setup a law practice in Ancaster and started to raise a family.

On Dec 11th, 1832 William’s wife, Maria, gave birth to a daughter named Maria. The baby was baptized by Rev. Miller on Dec 15th; on the same day that Rev. Miller buried Mrs Maria Notman, aged 28.

Rev. Miller noted that 250 people attended the service that Sunday.

One month later, William Notman’s 2nd daughter, Emily who was dead. Emily died on Jan 11th, 1833 at the age of two.

Odds and Ends Mondays

Carnegie Gallery, Dundas (Ont).
Carnegie Gallery, Dundas (Ont).

Art Opening Reception at the Carnegie Gallery

Feb 6th – Christina Sealey revealed her new works at the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario.

Christina Sealey is one of my favourite local artists. I have followed Sealey’s artistic developments since her 2002 solo show at Hamilton Artist Inc., when it was located on great factory warehouse site on Vine Street.

I am such a fan, that I commissioned Sealey to do a wonderful portrait of my oldest daughter.

While art reviews are not my thing, I can say what speaks to me as individual and a self-trained artist.

What I love about Sealey’s work is not her master level, painting-drawing, skills, but her exploration of the individual in a deeply urban landscape.  How can you be alone on an old couch when surrounded by the sounds of city life?  Sealey’s people are always separated from the crowd, but still painfully connected.

Human created spaces are everywhere in Sealey’s works, even in the middle of a wooden lot that is actually surrounded by street lights.  The city is never far away in a Sealey’s paintings or drawings.

I would say that these “night” paintings are some of the strongest works I have seen since her 2002 show at the Inc.

In the past, I say that Sealey’s best works were her paintings on canvas, but now she is showing amazing energy with the works on paper.  There is something great happening and I believe a new frontier of exploration is opening up.

The Carnegie Show continues until March.

If you do drop by the Gallery, makes sure to check out the fantastic clay work of Christopher Reid.  I have never seen someone make clay look like beautiful and rich fabric.  It is truly remarkable!

I was also impressed by the acrylic paintings of Iris McDermott in the lower space of the Gallery.  McDermott’s use of color is amazing.

Chris Erskine


Christina Sealey At Carnegie Feb 6th – 7pm


Carnegie Gallery, Dundas (Ont)
Carnegie Gallery, Dundas (Ont)

Christina Sealey’s opening reception for her new works is  Feb 6th, 2015 at the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario.  This should be a very interesting show because it will display a bit of a re-think on her approach to painting.

The reception starts at 7 pm and runs until 9:30 pm.  The show, itself, runs from Feb 6th until Mar 1st.

I am a big fan of Christina’s work.  I have followed Christina’s development since her Hamilton Artist Inc show back in 2002.  It is an amazing experience to be able to follow the development of an artist that you admire for both her technical and creative skills.

As many of you know, I commissioned a portrait painting of my oldest daughter and we happily received the work into our home this past December.

So, I strongly recommend that you make the time and see the show.  I would also urge you to attend the opening.

Openings are always nerve-racking.  You spend months, even years, in the studio, trying to create something that people will appreciate as original and deserving of their attention.  Suddenly, the magical night arrives and you wonder if anyone will show up.

Reward yourself and see a great artist!

Chris Erskine