Lumbers' Painting of Macneill Homestead Donated to UPEI Collection

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A unique painting by well-known Canadian artist James Lumbers was unveiled at UPEI today as part of the international L.M. Montgomery conference. It has been donated to the UPEI Permanent Collection. The painting captures the magical essence of the beloved home of L.M. Montgomery at the homestead of her Macneill grandparents in Cavendish.

The work was commissioned last year by Montgomery researcher and collector Donna Campbell to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the completion of Anne of Green Gables. L.M. Montgomery wrote her famous novel in the Macneill house in 1905. She also wrote Anne of Avonlea, Kilmeny of the Orchard, and The Story Girl, as well as hundreds of short stories and poems there.

A century later, the property is a National Historic Site. Although the house structure no longer exists, the Macneill family preserves the original stone foundation and the beautiful surrounding landscape. An apple tree from 1905 continues to thrive at the site.

James Lumbers has combined the past and the present in the painting which is titled Twilight Sorceries. The original apple tree is included, and so are the spruce trees to the right of the house that Montgomery described as "...dark, slender, witch-maidens weaving their spells of magic." He has recreated the house and painted a ghost-like image of the author standing at the centre of the front lawn, cradling a grey cat in her arms.

The University is hoping to benefit from the immense popularity of James Lumbers' work through the sales of prints and notecards of Twilight Sorceries. The funds raised will be used to support the work of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI.

Lumbers has had numerous exhibitions across Canada and through the United States. A recurring theme in all his work is the importance of heritage in Canada and of the traditions that make us what we are. He is well known for his portraits of distinguished subjects such as the late John Deifenbaker, Chief Dan George, and hockey legend Gordie Howe. In recent years his nostalgic "Moments in Time" series has been extremely popular. In these paintings he uses his distinctive technique of "ghosting"significant figures from the past into a scene from the present.

More information about Twilight Sorceries prints and notecards is available from the L.M. Montgomery Institute at 628-4346.

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Anne McCallum
Media Relations and Communications