Grafton Tyler Brown was acclaimed in the 1880s as the first professional artist in British Columbia, and has since become famous as the first Black artist in the Pacific Northwest. In California in the 1860s-70s he ran a print shop and was known as the “colored printer” but when he moved to British Columbia in 1882 he reinvented himself both as an artist and as a "White Man".
Brown’s stay in British Columbia lasted only two years but in that time he painted the Fraser, Thomson, Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys as well as the Victoria area. He had his first ever exhibition In Victoria in 1883 and was heavily promoted by the local newspaper. Today only a few of his British Columbia paintings are in public collections. Where are the missing paintings?