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Item Name: Painting
Title: Dropgate, Bassano, Alberta
Maker: Robert Vincent
Year: 1965
Country: Canadian
Materials: watercolour on paper
Measurements: overall: 17.8 cm x 27.9 cm
ID Number: PC83.4

Extended Label Info: This water colour painting by Robert Vincent shows a detail of an industrial structure in Southern Alberta. A drop-gate is a simple, mechanically operated door, similar in design to a sluice or portcullis. Vincent’s title implies that this structure may be part of the Bassano Dam on the Bow River, part of a reservoir and irrigation system in south-eastern Alberta. In the genre of landscape painting, this composition is an unusual choice for subject matter. Vincent may have been drawn to document the drop-gate because of his background in construction and engineering. The Bassano Dam and aqueduct were built in 1910-14, and at the time, were considered noteworthy for their unusual structure and capacity. Since the time this image was painted, the dam structure has been extensively repaired through a renewal and expansion in 1984-85. Robert Vincent (1908 – 1984) immigrated from Newcastle-on-Tyne in England to Russell, Manitoba in 1927. He served in the British Army during World War II, and as a member of the Royal Engineers Expeditionary Force, he taught drawing to army engineers. Returning to Canada in 1947, Vincent settled in Saskatoon and worked as a construction worker and field engineer with the Trans-Canada Highway development. Though primarily self-taught as an artist, Vincent was an active member of the Saskatoon arts community, and his work was exhibited regularly in Western Canada. He created art with a diverse range of subject matter, from precisely drafted industrial landscapes to more naïve wilderness studies, animal and figurative work, and wood carving. His artwork is held in provincial collections, including MacKenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan Arts Board, University of Saskatchewan, ReMai Modern (formerly Mendel Art Gallery) and Dunlop Art Gallery. Vincent’s work was exhibited at Dunlop Art Gallery in 1974, with the work of landscape artist, Greg Hardy.