TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Processing Information

Preferred Citation

Contact Information

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

Franziska Jacobi fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:Franziska Jacobi fonds.
Dates:– 1852, 1855, 1859-1863, 1893.
Quantity: – 1 album : 15.7 x 21.5 cm.

Biographical Sketch

Franziska (Fanny) Jacobi was born in 1845 in Wiesbaden, Germany, the third of four children of Otto Jacobi and Sybille Reuter. Her father, an accomplished artist, was born February 27, 1812, in Königsberg, East Prussia, the youngest of three children of Ehlert Reinhold Jacobi, a prominent merchant and malt brewer, and his wife Johanne Louise Linck. Having developed an interest in art at a young age, Otto Jacobi received early formal instruction in drawing, first from Christian Ernest Rauschke (1780-1835) and later from Andreas Knorre (1763-1841), a distinguished portrait painter in Königsberg. In 1830 Jacobi received financial support from friends of his late father to study at the Academy of Arts in Berlin, where in September of that year he had his first exhibition. He remained at the Berlin Academy for three years studying under Karl Friedrich Schulz (1796-1866), an artist known for his seascapes and hunting scenes. In 1832 Jacobi was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Düsseldorf Academy, where he met the Montreal-born artist Henry Ritter (1816-1853) and the American history painter Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816-1868). During this period, he continued to exhibit at the Berlin Academy of Arts (1834, 1836, and 1839) and with the Leipzig Art Association (1837, 1839, and 1841). In early 1843 Jacobi was appointed court painter in Wiesbaden after impressing the dowager Duchess Pauline of Nassau with an album of watercolours showing the surroundings of Ems. For the next twenty years he taught art to the children of the ducal household, acted as the conservator of the duke's picture collection, and painted both for the court and for clients.

In 1838, while studying in Düsseldorf, Jacobi married Sybille Reuter, and over the next twelve years they had four children. The first, Ernst Reinhold, was born on April 30, 1839, and the second, Carl Gustav Viktor, was born on November 12, 1842. Two daughters were added to the family after the Jacobi's move to Wiesbaden. The first, Franziska, was born on August 21, 1845, and the second, Louise, on August 31, 1851. With the death of Jacobi's personal patron, Duchess Pauline, in 1856, and the likelihood that Jacobi's only son Ernst Reinhold (Carl Gustav Viktor had died of typhoid fever on August 31, 1858 in Wiesbaden) would be forced into military service, Otto Jacobi immigrated to Canada in July 1860, settling in Montreal, where he quickly established a reputation as one of the city's leading landscape artists. He was joined in Montreal the following year by his wife and three children.

The Jacobi family remained in Montreal until 1864, when they took up homesteading in the village of Ardoch, Clarendon Township, Canada West. Otto Jacobi travelled extensively during his time in North America, living in Montreal, Toronto, and Philadelphia, as well as at the family homestead. He spent the last years of his life in the Dakota Territories, joining his children Ernst and Louise and their families who had begun to resettle in the west in 1879. Jacobi died on February 8, 1901 at the home of his daughter Louise in Ardoch, Dakota.

Franziska married Henry Campbell Elkington (b. 1844, Birmingham, England) in February 1867. The couple had three children: Lucy Elizabeth (b. 1868), Clara Fanny (b. 1869), and James Francis Reinhold (b. 1870). After Henry Elkington died in a drowning accident at Malcolm Lake in July 1872 Franziska married Ruben Leslie Haskell and had four more children: Gertrude (b. c. 1873), Francesca (b. 1875), Robert (b. 1883), and Gordon Stewart (b. 1886). In 1900 Ruben, Franziska, and part of their family moved to Red Deer, Alberta. The family later moved to Edmonton, where Franziska died in 1917.

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Scope and Content

Fonds consists of Franziska Jacobi's Poesiealbum, containing poetry and other writings entered by friends and family, two photographs, four drawings, and other items. The entries, the earliest dating from December 1859, are mainly farewell remarks to Franziska, who moved from Wiesbaden, Germany, to Canada with her mother and two siblings in 1861. Among the few writings entered after the family's move to Canada is a note from Franziska's brother Ernest dated October 12, 1862, which refers to his upcoming move to rural Ontario, and a poem from Franziska's daughter, Gertrude, written in October 1893.

The first of two photographs in the album shows four women seated at a table being served by a waiter and was probably taken in Wiesbaden. The second shows a painting of a rural scene that may be the Jacobi homestead in Ardoch, Clarendon Township. Two of the four drawings are signed and dated by Otto Jacobi. The first of these, in black-and-white graphite on grey paper, depicts a young woman (possibly Otto's wife Sybille) and is dated September 29, 1852. The second is a portrait, in black, white, and red graphite on beige paper, of Otto Jacobi's son, Ernst and is dated November 28, 1855. Although unsigned, the two other drawings are also likely by Otto Jacobi. One is a graphite and watercolour drawing of a woman; the other is a graphite drawing of a child slumped in a chair.

The album also includes two cards with drawings by Carl Jacobi; a page with five scissor-cuts (Scheren Schnitte); a page with dried flowers; and a page with two allegorical flower pictures (Wasserlilien and Veilchen) bordered with white lace.

Source of title: Title based on contents of series.

Physical condition: A few of the items contained in the album are loose.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by the William Tidball, a great-grandson of Otto Jacobi, in 2010.

Language: Text is mainly in German. A few items are in English.

Terms governing use and reproduction: Written requests for reproduction or publishing of material from the Franziska Jacobi fonds must be made to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

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Index Terms

Names:
Jacobi, Franziska, 1845-1917
Jacobi, Otto, 1812-1901
Document Types:
Albums.
Drawings.
Ephemera.
Photographs.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The album was passed down from Franziska to her second daughter, Clara Frances Elkington (1869-1945), and eventually to her great grandson William Tidball, who donated it to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives in 2010.

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Philip Dombowsky in 2010.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], Franziska Jacobi fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

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Contact Information

Cyndie Campbell
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources 
Library and Archives 
National Gallery of Canada 
380 Sussex Drive 
P.O. Box 427, Station A 
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1N 9N4 

T 613-990-0597 
F 613-990-9818 

 
ccampbel@gallery.ca 


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