Victoria, Victoria

June 27 – July 25, 1997

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

Two British colonial capital cities: Victoria, Hong Kong, and Victoria, Vancouver Island, were founded within a year of each other. They were therefore for many years twin colonial pillars of the British Empire, marking the eastern and western shores of the Pacific. Hong Kong Island, off the Kowloon Peninsular, was ceded to Britain by China in 1842 after its defeat in the first Opium War. Hudson’s Bay Company chief factor (and later colonial governor) James Douglas brought the first settlers to present day Victoria in 1843.

Victoria, Vancouver Island, ended its free port and colonial status in 1871 when British Columbia joined the Canadian confederation. The Crown Colony of Hong Kong becomes a separate administrative region of the People’s Republic of China this year on July 1st.

To mark this event the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery presents a series of lithographic reproductions which illustrate the early years of growth and development of Victoria, Hong Kong. Images of Victoria drawn from publications during the same period provide a comparison and context, opening a window into the early life of these two colonial capitals.