Historian seeks lost BC landscapes by black painter, who posed as white

British Columbia’s first professional artist was a social chameleon who had shed his past in California as a black porter to live briefly in 1880s Victoria as a white painter.

Now, more than 130 years after Grafton Tyler Brown set up shop and was feted by locals at his first art exhibition, a University of Victoria historian is asking the public to help find what may be hundreds of lost B.C. landscapes painted by an artist who went through a racial reinvention that helped him practise his craft.

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