Notable Murals & Commissions

1945 - The Nova Scotian Hotel

At the age of 18, Joseph was awarded his first large commission for Donald Gorden, President of the Canadian National Railway. The Commission was for three 14-foot long murals to be hung at the Nova Scotian Hotel (now renamed the Westin Hotel) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The subject of the murals are of Lunenburg Harbour (as seen in photos below), Halifax from Citadel Hill, and Portuguese Cove.

Tela and Joseph viewing the murals in 1974 

Guido Kerpel, Tela Purcell, and Senator Willie Moore standing in front of the Lunenburg Harbour mural at the 2015 rededication of the Nova Scotia Room at the Westin Hotel.

The Lunenburg Harbour Mural. 

A mock up of Joseph's Lunenburg Harbour mural, photo taken from his sketchbook 

Tela in front of the Portuguese Cove mural during the 2015 rededication event. 


The Portuguese Cove Mural

Joseph's watercolour mock up of the Portuguese Harbour Mural.













A photo of Joseph’s art station where he was working on the mock up for the Portuguese Cove mural. 

Jospeh in front of his Portuguese Cove Mural mock up, Portuguese Harbour, Nova Scotia

One of Joseph’s watercolour mock up sketches of the Portuguese cove mural. Photographed from his sketchbook. 

Another of Joseph’s watercolour mock up sketches of the Portuguese cove mural. Photographed from his sketchbook. 

1953 - Battle of the Atlantic Mural

Following the end of World War II, Joseph was commissioned by the sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy to paint a large mural of the Battle of the Atlantic to be mounted in the Atlantic Room Chiefs and Petty Officers Mess, Juno Tower, Halifax. 

Joe lived immediately adjacent to the warfare schools of the big naval base and was immersed in uniforms, ships and the sea from his earliest years.

1953 - St. Patrick's Church Altar

Joseph was commissioned to paint the altar panels of St. Patrick’s Church, Halifax.

1960s - Lord Nelson Hotel

Joseph completed a series of large panels for the Murray’s restaurant and hotel salons.

Joe in front of one of his murals, Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.

1959 - Seamen’s Memorial Room, Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic 

Joseph completed the Seamen’s Memorial murals at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in 1959. This is a memorial to all the ships and men lost at sea. Tela completed the intricate lettering of the names of the men lost at sea. 

The map mural with the map marking the locations of ships lost at sea.

The large mural depicting Jesus calming the angry sea.

Mock up of Joseph's mural of Christ calming the sea.

Tela Purcell completed the intricate lettering of the names of men lost at sea, located at the fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in the Memorial room, 1959. 

Left to right: Tela Purcell, Former Left Tennant Governor Lloyd Crouse, Mrs. Stanfield, Joseph Purcell, Mrs. Lloyd Crouse, in front of Memorial Panels.

1960 - Place Ville Marie

Joseph completed a forty-one-foot mural for fhe Bluenose Inn restaurant in the Place Ville Marie Building in Montreal. The large mural was an abstract of Lunenburg schooners.

Joseph in front of his finished mural of Lunenburg Schooners, an abstract.
Architectural rendition of the restaurant with Joseph's mural on the side wall. 

One of Joseph’s sketch book mock ups of Lunenburg Harbour and Schooners for the Place Ville Marie Mural. 

Late 50's 

Dartmouth Heritage Museum displays including one of the Halifax Explosion. 

1986 - Seabright Collection, Nova Gold Mine Districts

Joseph was commissioned by Seabright Resources Inc. (now known as WMC International Limited) in 1986 to paint a series of gold mining paintings of famous Nova Scotian gold mining sites.

Joseph travelled and painted on-site at 14 former gold mining sites, these included Montague, Oldham, Tangier, Waverley, Moose River, Goldenville, Goldboro, Seabright, Wine Harbour, Caribou Mines, the Ovens (as seen in picture above), Harrigan, and Beaver Dam. Click here to view the series.

The paintings are on display at the Museum of Industry and donated by WMC International Limited - Americas Division and Western Mining Corporation, Australia.

     Other Notable Murals & Commissions 

    • Canadian Embassy, London England
    • Spry Field High School
    • Maritime Tel. & Tel., Halifax, Spring Garden Road
    • Lohne's Restaurant, Halifax
    • Prince George Hotel, Halifax
    • Bridgewater Tavern, King Street, Bridgewater
    • Wades, Bridgewater
    • Supermarket, Mahone Bay
    • Bonaventure Ship Salon, Commissioned by the Canadian Navy
    • R.A. Jodrey, "The Construction of the Forest in Hansport 1873"
    • Nova Scotia Disasters Book Cover