Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Consult repository.  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
This collection consists of two sketchbooks and eight watercolor paintings by R. (Robert) Bruce Urmston, artist. The majority of art in the two sketchbooks depicts his journey around Quebec, mainly by ship, focusing on places such as the Falls of Montmorency and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The drawings and paintings in the sketchbooks are varied in content, mostly showing the view of passing harbors, but also giving a few glimpses of people and places on the ship itself. The majority of the eight watercolor paintings illustrate places Urmston visited in California in the 1890s and 1900s, including Mount San Antonio, Chino, and Riverside. One painting from 1883 depicts the town of Douglas, Manitoba, Canada.
R. (Robert) Bruce Urmston (1863-1950) was born in Hampshire, England to Henry Brabazon Urmston and Harriet Hughes Hughes, according to a family tree found on Ancestry.com. Urmston was married first to a woman named Esther and later to a woman by the name of Ellla, according to that family tree. While little is known about his life back in England, we know that Urmston came to North America by the 1880s and spent a number of years traveling and documenting his travels in sketches and watercolors. In 1882, Urmston travelled by ship to the Canadian city of Quebec, a trip similar to the one he took along the St. Lawrence Seaway between 1886 and 1889. After spending some time in Douglas, Manitoba in 1893, Urmston headed to California in 1894. In March of 1894, Urmston applied for US citizenship in a Los Angeles county court. It appears that he spent a number of years in the Los Angeles/Riverside area before moving to northern California, where he passed away in 1950.
1 box, 1 folder
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.