Employees at Klondike Visitors Association were surprised to find that a Jim Robb original hung on the wall for the centre.
Early in summer, a call from Doug Thomas (also known as Gold Nougie Dougie), revealed to them that a painting of the Palace Grand Theatre (the only one Jim Robb has done), which staff believed was a print, was hanging on their walls.
Thomas and his partner Beverley are art collectors and friends of Jim Robb; as well as avid historians with a keen interest in Arizona Charlie and the Palace Grand Theatre. The Thomases were assisting Jim Robb in a hunt for the original Palace Grand piece, which Robb wished to make prints and shirts of. “Jim Robb is a Yukon Icon and just a great resource for our Territory,” says Doug. “We just love sharing his work.”
The painting, it was revealed, was painted for the 100th anniversary of the Palace Grand Theatre in 1999. At that time, Klondike Visitors Association was involved in producing shows at the venue, notably with the Gaslight Follies. Following a quick trip up the highway, the Thomases visited the staff at KVA to see the painting, after which it was agreed that they could bring it to Whitehorse to have it scanned to make prints; to show it to Robb; and to re-frame it. A month or so later, Doug and Beverley returned with the original in hand, but which now was framed in a flat-front style frame, and featured a new signature and comment from Jim Robb: “To commemorate 100 years of the Palace Grand Theatre, which was originally built from two wrecked steamboats.”
As the Thomases winter in Arizona and are keenly interested in Arizona Charlies, they attached a photo of Charlie to the re-dressed painting. They also wanted to acknowledge Peter Jenkins, who, in his role as mayor of Dawson City in the early 2000s, visited the grave of Arizona Charlie to mark his role in the Klondike. During their visit to Dawson to return the painting, the Thomases also donated files from their research into Arizona Charlie, which KVA passed on to the Dawson City Museum.
Klondike Visitors Association wishes to thank Doug and Beverley for their generous gift as well as acknowledge their efforts related to preserving the name of iconic Klondike personalities.