More art

One of the other artworks that managed to survive (one of the few) that we’ve had around the house since I was little is an etching. The frame finally gave up the ghost before we moved and I have since taken it out of the frame. I have to find an art conservator who can tackle damage caused by the less than neutral framing that is has sat in, possibly since it was framed back in 1932.

Chateau Laurier, Ottawa” “26 V 32

I’m not sure how it came into Mom’s hands. Possibly a gift from a friend or something she bought back when she came to Ottawa first. Since she arrived in the early 1950’s, it certainly must have had at least one owner before her. Possibly she knew the artist, Frederick B. Taylor.

Frederick B. Taylor
Canadian
Born in Ottawa, Ontario, 27 July 1906
Died in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 21 April 1987

Frederick B. [Bourchier] Taylor, artist, was born and raised in Ottawa. He studied architecture at McGill University, where he was taught drawing by Edmond Dyonnet, RCA and graduated in 1930. After travelling in Europe on an architectural scholarship, Taylor returned to Ottawa where he studied drawing under Ernest Fosbery, RCA. While at McGill, he developed his interest in skiing, which he had begun in the Gatineau Hills around Ottawa, and became a member of the Red Birds Ski Club, Montreal, and of Kandahar, the British racing club. During the early 1930’s he taught himself etching and became known for his etchings of skiers in action.

Taylor went back to England to continue his art studies in the mid-thirties and attended the Byam Shaw School of Painting and Goldsmiths College of Art, studying under F. Ernest Jackson, ARA and Stanley Anderson, RA. While in England he married his cousin Miriam Magee, in 1936. After returning to Canada in 1937 he began to specialize in portrait painting and taught drawing and modeling at McGill’s School of Architecture 1940-1943. During the War Taylor tried to interest the National Gallery and other federal government departments in an industrial war records project. Although he was unsuccessful in getting official support, he pursued the project himself, getting passes to sketch in the CPR workshops in Montreal and in Canada’s shipyards and other war industries. He exhibited his portraits of factory workers in factory lunchrooms and sent an exhibition to the Workers’ Educational Association in Port Hope, Ontario, and the Labour Arts Guild in Vancouver.

During this period Taylor became a member of the Labour Progressive Party as well as helping to found the Federation of Canadian Artists. He had become a member of the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1934 and became a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Arts in 1943. In 1948 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, becoming an Academician in 1966. After the war, Taylor turned to sketching Montreal street scenes and exhibited regularly at Montreal’s Dominion Gallery, although he continued to do paintings of workers into the late 1950’s. He travelled to the USSR in 1951 under the auspices of the Canada-Soviet Friendship Society and in 1954 made his first trip to Mexico. He married his second wife, American artist Nova Hecht, in 1955 and in 1960 settled permanently in Mexico. He died in San Miguel de Allende in 1987. (Library and Archives Canada)

The Library and Archives Canada has a fonds which contains a number of prints of local Ottawa landmarks, including one of the Chateau Laurier. Mine doesn’t have an edition number in the corner but it is dated.

Taylor was also a War Artist, with several pieces in the National War Museum collection of war art.

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