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H. Bullock Webster

H. Bullock Webster

The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Painter
Gender male
Birth 1855
Death 1942
The details

Harold (Harry) Bullock Webster (1855–1942) was a self-trained painter who worked in the UK, Canada and New Zealand.

Webster was born in England, but emigrated as an adolescent to Canada and began an apprenticeship as a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1874. He made many business trips to Hudson's Bay Company posts in the western part of Canada, for instance to northern Alberta and British Columbia.

By 1878 he managed the trading post at Fort Connelly on Bear Lake in northern British Columbia. In 1880 he returned to Britain and emigrated subsequently from there to New Zealand, where he worked as a farmer's agent. On behalf of his employer, Thomas Russell, he travelled to Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, East Coast and Wanganui. At the age of 83, he published in 1938 his Memories of Sport and Travel Fifty Years Ago: From the Hudson's Bay Company to New Zealand.

He made many sketches during his complete lifetime, although he never had undertaken any formal training as a painter or artist. While working at the Hudson's Bay Company from 1874 to 1880, he generated an album of approximately 93 colour sketches visualising social life, activities, customs and dress in and around Hudson's Bay Company posts particularly near Stuart Lake and Fort McLeod. Several of his sketches show First Nations and Métis people, whose participated in the Canadian fur trade. Some sketches were re-printed in The Graphic magazine in England and gave an impression about the frontier life in British Columbia and Alberta to a British audience.

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