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Garden Island from the Domain, June 24th1841

by Maurice Felton

This small landscape view of Garden Island is painted on tin. It is an unusual work for artist Maurice Felton — he was best known as a society portraitist and painted mostly on canvas.

From the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 until 1810 Garden Island was used for growing vegetables to feed ships’ crews. It supported naval activities and also became a popular destination for Sydney’s picnickers.

By 1856, it was a base for repairing Royal Navy ships. During World War II, the construction of the Captain Cook Graving (cleaning) Dock changed the shape of the island dramatically. Twelve hectares of seabed were reclaimed and in 1945 the island was joined to the mainland at Potts Point.