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The Legh Kilpin Art Collection


The Langley Centennial Museum houses the largest collection of works by Legh Mulhall Kilpin, an artist and teacher who emigrated from England to Montreal in 1906. The museum's collection was donated by the Kilpin family and includes over 100 works created in a variety of media; 57 are designated Canadian Cultural Property.

Kilpin established a successful career as an art teacher for the Westmount School Board and as a professional artist in Montreal until he died in 1919. A member of the Art Association of Montreal and the Montreal Arts Club, he associated with prominent artists and collectors of the period. His works were exhibited regularly at the AAM, the Arts Club and at Royal Canadian Academy shows. The CURA project offered an opportunity to examine his career as a working artist and the position of immigrant artists in Canada during the first 20 years of the 20th century.

A project exhibition was mounted at the Langley Centennial Museum from October 2002 to January 2003. A web exhibit on the artist, with links to the entire collection, was launched to coincide with the exhibition. The web exhibit can be viewed on the museum's web site at Legh Mulhall Kilpin: Teacher, Painter, Printmaker, a catalogue written by UVic researchers and published in 2004, provides a permanent record of the research on the artist, his work and his career. The Langley Museum received a grant from the Museums Assistance Program that has enabled it to offer the Kilpin collection as a travelling exhibition to venues across Canada.

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