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A River That Separates? Imaging the Detroit River, 1804-2001

January 12, 2013 - March 31, 2013

AWE Gallery

Edward Walsh, A View of Detroit and the Straits, taken from the Huron Church, June 22nd 1804, 1804, colour reproduction on paper, 43.0 cm x 32.0 cm, Gift of Mrs. D. Maitland Irwin, 1977

Drawn from the AGW collection, A River That Separates? brings together a varied group of artist’s perspectives of the Detroit River over the past 200 years. From renderings by British colonialists hired to map the border, to marine imagery of the river’s role in international trade, to scenes of the river in urban development, the Detroit River has continually been a compelling subject for artists. Their cumulative stories demonstrate how the river has been both an important international border and water route that joins, as much as it separates, our two nations. These artists have created a visual world connected by the river, and their views encourage audiences to recast and reconsider the historical divisions of space we have created in the past – such as our nationalized histories of ‘Canadian art’ and ‘American art,’ for example – and to see this river-border as a zone of its own that contests such divisions against lived experience.

In this exhibit

Edward Walsh, A View of Detroit and the Straits, taken from the Huron Church, June 22nd 1804, 1804, colour reproduction on paper, 43.0 cm x 32.0 cm, Gift of Mrs. D. Maitland Irwin, 1977

Seth Arca Whipple, The City of Windsor, 1890, oil on canvas, 112.0 cm x 56.0 cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Oncea, 1973

Nicholas Hornyansky, Detroit from the River, date unknown, colour aquatint on paper, 22/150, 32.0 cm x 43.0 cm, Gift of Miss Ada M.C. Wrong, 1963

IAIN BAXTER&, Lake St. Clair, 1992, acrylic on steel, 154.0 cm x 31.0 cm, Gift of the artist, 2000

Frederick B. Taylor, Downtown Detroit, Michigan from Riverview Park, Windsor, 1953, oil on panel, sketch, 30.0 cm x 23.0 cm, Purchased with funds donated by Miss Garnette Magee, 1997

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