I have written some long letters that I was
obliged to write & am very busy drawing Birds.

- Elizabeth Gwillim to her Sister, Hester Symonds James, March 18, 1802

Gwillim Project
Newsletter Issue 14

Welcome to the fourteenth issue of the Gwillim Project's newsletter, marking April. This newsletter features news, updates, and events.
Painting Madras Exhibit
The "Painting Madras, 1801-1808" exhibit at the Dakshina Chitra Museum was met with much acclaim and a festive opening night. It showed the Gwillim and Symonds paintings in the Kadambari Gallery, including original paintings as well as photographs of the city today, by Rekha Vijayashankar. Stories of the sisters work and the current network projects were featured in DT Express, Dinamalar, Times of India, and The New Indian Express. The story and work of Elizabeth Gwillim and her sister Mary Symonds in the New Indian Express, with a circulation in Chennai, can be seen below and read here.

On April 16, the Dakshina Chitra Museum will host a bird walk for a group of 30 school children by a team of young naturalists, headed by Yuvan  Aves of Palluyir Trust. Two films about birds by Shekar Dattatri, a wildlife and conservation filmmaker based in Chennai, will be screened. The day will culminate with awards for photographs of birds in the Tamilnadu region, a contest open to those 21 and younger. It is gratifying to see such dynamic participation with the project. 

Rekha Vijayashankar received a photographic scholarship after her success with the Gwillim Project. With the Kanavu Fellowship she explored the subject of women and their relationship with nature, producing this video here. More on her artistic process can be found in a profile in Lak Square – read about her special relationship with her work here.
Rekha Vijayashankar pictured in front of a wall of her photographs at the Dakshina Chitra Museum exhibit.

McGill Library will host a display of Elizabeth Gwillim's ornithological paintings in the MacLennan Library lobby over the summer starting in May. The library is currently open to all visitors – masks required.
New and Upcoming
The Wikipedia page for Elizabeth Gwillim's husband, Henry Gwillim, was updated and gives a fantastic view into his life and career. A dedicated lawyer who lead a storied career, Gwillim was interested in the letter of the law in an expanding empire. The East India Company was still operating the General Courts, a clash of power with the Crown that directly effected Gwillim's tenure in India. Read more about his life here.
Join Network member Dr Apurba Chatterjee for her lecture on Tuesday 26 April, 16.00-17.00 on the medical imagery of malaria in British India between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries. Dr Chatterjee will explore a decolonising agenda in the medical humanities and will discuss how humanities research and visual culture are important ways to make health-related research more public-facing. You can learn more and register here.
Members of the Gwillim Network are invited to celebrate the Blacker Wood and the late Eleanor Maclean, the Librarian who worked to make the Gwillim watercolours at McGill accessible to researchers. Dr Subramanya will share his reminiscences of Eleanor, along with others who worked with her. Join ROAAr in celebrating the wonders and work of the Blacker-Wood Collection.
Celebrating the Blacker-Wood; A Tribute to Eleanor MacLean
Virtual Event | April 27, 4:00 PM EDT | Please RSVP here.
Birds of Madras: a Flight Through Time, a bird walk and talks about the project will take place at Indian Institute of Technology- Madras on 30th April. Those interested in attending this interesting event should contact John Lourdusamy at
A closing symposium will be held for the network members of the Gwillim Project on May 11. Keep an eye out for a forthcoming email with more details!
As always, please reach out if you have questions or anything you'd like to see in the next newsletter:
Header Image: Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) CA RBD Gwillim-1-022

Copyright © 2022 McGill University, All rights reserved.
McGill Library, Rare Books and Special Collections

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Gwillim Project (McGill University Library) · 3459 Rue Mctavish · Montreal, QC H3A 0C9 · Canada

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp