On May 5, Premier Brad Wall joined former Lieutenant Governor Dr. Gordon Barnhart to unveil his official portrait at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building.
“Dr. Barnhart served with great distinction and excellence as Saskatchewan’s lieutenant governor and did an outstanding job representing Her Majesty and the people of our great province,” Wall said. “Thanks to his public service as our province’s vice-regal representative, and throughout his distinguished career, Saskatchewan is a better place. I’m truly privileged to have worked with such an exceptional individual.”
The painting features Barnhart at Government House where the official office of Saskatchewan’s lieutenant governor is located. The Saskatchewan Legislative Building, where Barnhart served for 20 years as clerk of the Legislative Assembly, can be seen through a window. On a table near Barnhart is a photograph of Amédée E. Forget, who was the last lieutenant governor of the Northwest Territories and the first lieutenant governor of the new province of Saskatchewan between 1905 and 1910. Like Barnhart, Forget served as a clerk, but of various territorial administrations.
“It was my pleasure to be Saskatchewan’s 20th Lieutenant Governor and now to have my portrait unveiled in the Legislative Building,” Barnhart said. “This is indeed a great honour. This is especially meaningful for me because the Legislative Building has played an important role in my working life. I want to thank the people of Saskatchewan for their friendship and support during my term as lieutenant governor. I also want to thank Cyril Leeper, the portrait artist, who is one of the most talented people I know. I think the portrait portrays who I am but I will let the people of Saskatchewan be the final judge on that.”
Leeper is a renowned portrait artist originally from Saskatchewan who has painted subjects such as former Saskatchewan lieutenant governors McIntosh, Johnson and Fedoruk, along with former Premier Devine.
As part of his responsibilities, Provincial Secretary Wayne Elhard officially accepted the portrait into the Legislative Building Art Collection, which has more than 200 pieces, including portraits, busts, sculptures, murals and photographs.
“This collection helps preserve our history and is a reminder of who we are as a province,” Elhard said. “It’s an honour to have this new portrait added so future generations can learn from such wonderful examples of leadership, as is Dr. Barnhart.”
The portrait will hang in the Qu’Appelle Gallery in the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina.