William Henry Clapp, landscape and figure painter (b at Montréal 29 Oct 1879; d at Oakland, Ca 21 Apr 1954). Born of American parents, Clapp lived in Oakland 1885-1900. He studied at the Art Association of Montreal 1900-03 with William BRYMNER, and painted at St-Joachim and Baie-Saint-Paul with Clarence GAGNON. From 1904 to 1908 he studied in Paris at the Académie Julian, the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière with J.-P. Laurens, Tony Robert-Fleury and Lucien Simon, and in Madrid with William Laparra. He painted in Belgium and Spain.
Living in Montréal from 1908 to 1915, Clapp exhibited some of the most advanced impressionist canvases in Canada. Almost a pointillist in touch, his surfaces vibrate with broken colour and dappled light. Clapp left for Cuba in 1915, settling in Oakland in 1917, where he was curator (1918-20) and director of the Oakland Art Gallery (1920-1949). In Canada he was a member of the Canadian Art Club (1913-15) and in California of the Society of Six (1923-28). He stopped exhibiting in Canada in 1918. More on William Henry Clapp
BONAVENTURE ISLAND, OLD FISHING COMPANY HOUSES
oil on canvas,
14 ins x 21 ins; 35.6 cms x 53.3 cms
Though Peleg Franklin Brownell found his favourite sketching grounds close to his home in Ottawa, he also explored and created works set in the areas of the Lower St. Lawrence, the Little Saguenay River and the Gaspé Peninsula. Brownell's works exhibit great technical ability. His landscapes, which arise out of vigourously applied brushstrokes, are thoughtfully composed. Southeast of the village of Percé, off of the southern coast of Québec, Bonaventure Island was one of the early seasonal fishing ports of New France. What is truly picturesque about this work is not the land nor the old fishing company houses that give it its title, but rather the pensive and invigorating sea of sapphire blue.
Peleg Franklin Brownell, painter, teacher (b at New Bedford, Mass 27 July 1857; d at Ottawa 13 Mar 1946). After studying at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, he went to Paris to study under Robert-Fleury, Bouguereau and Bonnat. In 1886 he became principal of the Ottawa Art School and subsequently headed the Woman's Art Association of Ottawa (later Ottawa Art Association), retiring 1937. He also painted in the West Indies, the US, the Gaspé and the Gatineau. Besides highly keyed landscapes, he produced portraits, flower studies, marine and genre scenes in oil, watercolour and pastel.
A founder-member of the Canadian Art Club (1907), he was represented in the exhibitions of several art associations and showed internationally at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition; the 1900 Paris World's Fair, at which he won a bronze medal for his RCA diploma work, The Photographer, 1896; the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, St Louis, 1904; and the British Empire Exhibition, 1924-25. His paintings are found in major Canadian collections. Perhaps his best-known canvas is The Beach, St. Kitts (1913). More on Peleg Franklin Brownell
From 1957-1959 Pratt studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. During the summers, he returned to Newfoundland to work as a construction surveyor at the American Naval Base at Argentia. The training he received in precise measuring was applied to his paintings. In 1959 Pratt returned to Mount Allison University to complete in 1961 a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. During this period he began to make silkscreen prints. The early screen print Boat in Sand, 1961 in the National Gallery’s collection was produced at this time and included in the Gallery’s fourth Biennial Exhibition.
In 1961, Pratt accepted the position of curator at the newly opened Memorial University Art Gallery in St. John's. He remained at the gallery for two and a half years before deciding to concentrate on his painting full-time, moving his family to Salmonier, Newfoundland. More on John Christopher Pratt
In the 1930's, Roberts belonged to a Montreal-based group of painters called The Contemporary Arts Society, which was formed partially because their members disagreed with the beliefs of The Group of Seven.
In 1943, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and was appointed war artist in Europe. In 1944 he returned to Canada with 116 drawings and watercolours for War Records. In 1967, his work was exhibited at the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67 and at the Centennial Ehibition of the National Gallery of Canada.
Many art historians still lament the fact to this day that Roberts is, and was, unfairly overshadowed by the lose fame of the Group of Seven in public. More on William Goodridge Roberts
After his release from service, deGarthe obtained his passport – declaring his profession as “artist” -- and emigrated to Canada in the fall of 1926. Landing in Halifax, he boarded a train for Toronto intending to join other expatriate Scandinavians in the northern Ontario forestry trade. The work was hard and the climate unforgiving; after only two months he left the woods bound for Montreal. Virtually penniless, he made his way to a mission where he showed the supervisor some of his drawings. Impressed with the work and with the 19-year-old’s determination, the man introduced deGarthe to a local publisher who hired him as an illustrator in January of 1927 at a rate of $7 a week.
It was around this time that the young artist changed his name from the Scandinavian Degerstedt to the French-sounding deGarthe. While continuing his work as a commercial artist, deGarthe continued his formal art studies in Montreal. Declaring he was on a quest to find “the most beautiful spot on earth”, in 1930 deGarthe quit his job in Montreal and travelled by rail to Halifax to board a ship bound for South America but on disembarking he was struck by the similarity between Nova Scotia and the rugged seacoast of his native Finland. He later declared, “I didn’t have to travel any farther.” More on William Edward (Bill) deGarthe
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