Thursday, April 16, 2020

04 Works, Today, April 16th, is Mary Brant's day, With Footnotes - #102

Sara Tyson
Three Faces of Molly Brant

Since graduating from Ontario College of Art, Sara Tyson has worked for over 35 years as illustrator and graphic designer. This dual role as a professional increased her understanding of the function of illustration in communication arts and made her a thoughtful problem solver. Her figures occupy highly organized spaces, with shape, texture, contrast and colour all playing important parts in her concepts. Illustration clients include American Lawyer Media, Canada Post Corporation (Molly Brant:1986), Festival of the Sound, Global Brief Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Hampton-Brown Company, Harcourt Publishers, Harvard Business Review, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, National Endowment for the Humanities, On Wall Street Magazine, Pacific Opera Victoria, Penguin Group (Canada), TheProgressive Magazine, Reader’s Digest Magazine, Roger's Media Inc., Smithsonian Magazine, Strategic Finance Magazine, Utne Reader, Vancouver Foundation Magazine, VanderbiltUniversity, The Washington Post, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering – HarvardUniversity

Mary Brant, (born 1736?—died April 16, 1796, Kingston, Ontario [Canada]), Native American leader, an influential and effective Iroquois ally to Great Britain in the American Revolution and later a founder of Kingston, Ontario.

Brant was of the Mohawk tribe, the daughter of a sachem (chief). Sometime in the late 1750s she came to the attention of Sir William Johnson, hero of Crown Point in the French and Indian War and superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern colonies. Following the death of his wife, he took a Mohawk woman as his mistress. Brant succeeded her and bore him eight or nine children while living with him at Fort Johnson and later Johnson Hall, his manorial estate. She also managed his household and entertained many distinguished Native American and colonial guests.

Benjamin West, (1738–1820)
William Johnson saving the life of Baron Dieskau at the Battle of Lake George, 1755., circa 1764
Oil on canvas
Height: 129.5 cm (50.9 in); Width: 106.5 cm (41.9 in)
Derby Museum and Art Gallery

Benjamin West PRA (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence and the Seven Years' War. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820. He was offered a knighthood by the British Crown, but declined it, believing that he should instead be made a peer. He said that "Art is the representation of human beauty, ideally perfect in design, graceful and noble in attitude. More Benjamin West

After Johnson’s death in 1774, Brant relinquished Johnson Hall to his eldest legitimate son and moved with her children to a farm near Canajoharie, New York. She and all of her family were loyalists during the Revolution. 

George Romney  (1734–1802)
Thayeadanegea, Joseph Brant, the Mohawk Chief, c.  1776 
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Canada

Brant was visiting England with Guy Johnson at age 33 or 34 when Romney painted him in his London studio. Brant is shown wearing a white ruffled shirt, an Indian blanket, a silver gorget, a plumed headdress and carrying a tomahawk.

George Romney was born in Dalton-on-Furness, the son of a cabinet-maker. He was apprenticed for two years to a travelling portrait painter, Christopher Steele. After working independently in Kendal and Lancaster, Romney moved to London in 1762, hoping to become a history painter. This was unrealistic and by the early 1770s he was established as one of the capital's leading portraitists. At 38 he spent two years in Italy which refired his ambition to be a history painter. On returning to London, he was the main rival to Reynolds and Gainsborough and more fashionable than either. He painted many portraits of Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton, who represented his feminine ideal. More on George Romney

"Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant (March 1743 24 November 1807) was a Mohawk military and political leader, based in present-day New York, who was closely associated with Great Britain during and after the American Revolution. Perhaps the American Indian of his generation best known to the Americans and British, he met many of the most significant Anglo-American people of the age, including both George Washington and King George III. While not born into a hereditary leadership role within the Iroquois League, Brant rose to prominence due to his education, abilities and his connections to British officials. Through his sister, Molly Brant, and his later leadership, he was associated with Sir William Johnson, the influential British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the province of New York. During the American Revolutionary War, Brant led Mohawk and colonial Loyalists against the rebels in a bitter partisan war on the New York frontier. He was accused by the Americans of committing atrocities and given the name "Monster Brant", but the charges were later found to be false. After the war, he relocated with most of his people to Canada to the Six Nations Reserve, where he remained a prominent leader." More on Joseph Brant 

Her younger brother Joseph became a feared leader of warriors, notorious for the Cherry Valley Raid of November 11, 1778; her eldest son, Peter, was credited with the capture of Ethan Allen at Montreal in September 1775. 

While trying to capture Montreal, Allen is captured by British forces

She herself conveyed intelligence on American movements and supplied ammunition to the British before the Battle of Oriskany, August 6, 1777. Her influence, both as the daughter of a sachem and as the consort of the popular Johnson, was decisive in bringing the entire Iroquois nation into the British camp, and she spent much of the war in the Tory stronghold of Niagara. After the war she settled in Ontario, where she and other loyalist refugees founded the town of Kingston. In 1783 she was granted a British pension for her services. Like her brother, she was in her last years a devout member of the Episcopal church. 

On August 25, 1996 the City of Kingston proclaimed Molly Brant Commemoration Day. The Mohawk Nation - Bay of Quinte, the Corporation of the City of Kingston, the City of Kingston Historical Board, and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada had agreed to commemorate her life with the creation of a bust representing Molly Brant, along with an historic monument at the front entrance of Rideaucrest Home on Rideau Street in Kingston. John Boxtel was commissioned to make the bust. The memorial sculpture was unveiled at Rideaucrest on Molly Brant Commemoration Day. The commemoration began with a service at St. George's Cathedral, a traditional Mohawk tobacco burning and a wreath-laying ceremony at St. Paul's Anglican Church, and a reception at Rideaucrest. The sculpture of Molly Brant was unveiled in the eastern courtyard.  More on Mary Brant

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