More about Beaver Hall Painters

It’s really strange but I have found it really hard to locate the names of many of the men who were in the Beaver Hall Group. Whilst I’m the first to promote female artists, this Group was about gender equality and that’s all I'm trying to achieve. I don’t want the male painters erased!! So any help here locating the male members of the group would be appreciated.

As I examine the Beaver Hall Group I’ve been thinking about how we define ourselves and how artists often strive to depict that identity. In Canada around the turn of the C20th many artists saw the way to define Canadians was through the painting of rugged landscapes but the Beaver Hall Group was more interested in recording using modernistic techniques the ordinary people and their lives.

We know that William Brymner (1855-1925) taught most of the beaver women if not all of them. Although he didn’t belong to the group he must be recognised for the contribution he made to their innovative style. You can see evidence of the work of the beavers in his work.

There was at least one man in the inaugural group namely Randolph Hewton who was also a student of William Brymner. Here is a Canadian landscape.
And a couple of rather delightful village scenes, the first titled Quebec Village. sorry I couldnt find a title for the second.

Next we move to the president of the group who was Alexander Young Jackson. His style was very bold and striking as shown in Northern Lights.

And Smart River.

Edwin Holgate taught engraving at Montréal's École des beaux-arts and was also one of the original members of the Beaver Hall Group.He was known primarily as a portraitist and painted an unusual series of female nudes in outdoor settings during the 1930s.But I have chosen to show you three very different subjects he painted which show his versatility.

I found two other names who might have been part of the Beaver Hall Group. The first, John Johnstone certainly studied with William Brymner as did so many of the group. You can see the change in his style here when we compare two paintings with similar subject matter.

The other name I have is Adrien Hebert who is mentioned in some of the information about the group. I love his work so just want to have an excuse to show you his paintings especially the first one as I live in the city of trams!

Most of the men who were in the Beaver Hall Group went on to be members of the painting movement called the Group of Seven which women were excluded from. I do believe however they were allowed to participate in some of the exhibitions. Thank goodness the world has changed. The hero image for this blog is by Beaver Hall Group member Sarah Robertson titled The Blue Sleigh.

I do hope you have enjoyed our journey to Canada. I'm having tomorrow off from blogging as I am attending the Triennial Exhibition currently being run at the National Gallery of Victoria. And then back with something completely different.

Anne Newman

Oil Painter in realistic genre style, predominantly buildings and people. To continue the discussion contact Anne on anewman@netspace.net.au or phone +61 407 516 522

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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