Art Collection: Works

History of the CPR

In the mid 1870’s the Inter-colonial railway opened up eastern Quebec and Northern New Brunswick to settlement and allowed for commercial traffic to flow through to Halifax from Montreal. There was a desire to expand west to the Pacific Ocean like the Americans had done that would work towards the goal of British Imperial Growth as well. Isaac Buchanan was a prominent merchant from Hamilton who decided to merge the two railway lines that he owned with the Vanderbilt’s lines in the United States. This allowed for a direct connection between Chicago and New York through Canada. To promote the Railways, artists were hired to paint romantic landscapes that incorporated the railway lines in order to promote travel. In 1885 the Eagle’s Pass over the Rocky Mountains completed the longest railway line in the world, thereby opening up the west. Sir William Van Horne, an important private art collector, decided to offer free railways passage to artists who would be willing to paint the scenery along the way. Many of the artists featured in the Goodman collection, such as Marmaduke Matthews and Thomas Martin Mower were among those who took advantage of the free travel out West.