Collingwood Museum Bids Farewell to the Wreck Of Waubuno


Join Collingwood Museum staff on Wednesday, March 22, between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. for a come-and-go farewell for the “The Wreck of the Waubuno” painting by local artist Ernest Taylor. 

“The Wreck of the Waubuno”

This striking painting has been on loan from the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston since 2016 and has inspired many programs at the Collingwood Museum, from podcast and video episodes to an onsite scavenger hunt. Taylor’s stunning interpretation of the Waubuno’s demise has also generated lots of discussion among residents, some who recall the painting’s original home in the Mountain View Hotel and seeing Taylor at work. 

There’s something for everyone in this painting, from dogs and a bagpiper to a toy train and Captain Hook! We’ve also heard a rumour that the Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau makes an appearance. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness “The Wreck of the Waubuno” in Collingwood one last time and try your hand at a Waubuno-inspired scavenger hunt. 

A small exhibit featuring items recovered from the Waubuno’s wreck, as well as from other shipwrecks on the Great Lakes and Pacific Ocean, will also be available for viewing. 

Ernest Taylor (1922-1999) was born in California and came to Collingwood as a child in 1925. He attended the Ontario College of Art where he was befriended and influenced by Fred Varley among others. He spent the following year at the Art Students’ League in New York City. Taylor opened a stained-glass workshop and worked as an illustrator in Toronto in the 1950s. In 1967, he became an art instructor at the Algonquin Composite School and later West Ferris Secondary in North Bay in 1980.

While researching the Waubuno’s history in 1981, Taylor borrowed numerous photographs from the Collingwood Museum’s collection for the expressed purpose of creating a “historical painting” at the Mountain View Hotel. The completed painting, measuring five feet in height and seven feet in length, was displayed at the Hotel and later purchased by the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. 

The Waubuno left Collingwood on a dark and stormy morning in late November 1879, bound for Parry Sound. The vessel was a common sight in the early years of Collingwood’s harbour; however, the vessel as well as its passengers and crew would never be seen again. Not a single body was recovered, nor a survivor left to tell the Waubuno’s tale. Taylor’s painting is a vivid interpretation of the Waubuno’s final moments on Georgian Bay. 

The Collingwood Museum will be closed during regular operating hours on Thursday, March 23 for the deinstallation, packaging, and shipment of Taylor’s painting to the Great Lakes Museum at Kingston. 

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