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 Edwin Headley Holgate  (1892 - 1977)

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Lived/Active: Quebec/Ontario / Canada/France      Known for: landscape, figure-nude, genre and mural painting

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Ad Code: 2
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Near Amiens
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A portrait and landscape painter and prominent Canadian artist, Edwin Holgate was born in Allandale, Ontario.  The Holgate family moved to Jamaica when Edwin was three so that his father could work as an engineer.  Holgate returned to Toronto at the age of five where he lived with relatives and started school.

When his family returned to Canada they settled in Montreal where Holgate attended the Art Association of Montreal studying under William Brymner.  Holgate went on to continue his studies in Paris, France returning to Canada to enlist in the army at the outbreak of World War I.  He married after the war and returned to Paris where the couple remained until 1922.

He taught wood engraving* at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts* in Paris and began painting nudes in northern landscapes. After years as an accomplished figure painter, Holgate was invited to join the Group of Seven* in 1930.

He was best known for his portraits, but he also painted many landscapes and murals. His received acclaim for his design of the mural decorating the Totem Pole Room at Ottawa's Chateau Laurier Hotel.

He never exhibited as a group member because the Group disbanded shortly after he joined.

David Burnett, Masterpieces of Canadian Art

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary


Biography from Mayberry Fine Art:
Edwin Holgate was born in Allandale, Ontario.  Holgate began his art education at the Art Association of Montreal studying under William Brymner who was also A.Y. Jackson's teacher.  In 1920,some of the Brymner graduates found a large building on Beaver Hall Hill in Montreal that could serve for a number of studios.

Over the years Holgate continued to be involved with the Beaver Hall Group*. Holgate continued his studies in Paris, returning to Canada at the outbreak of World War I.

After the War, the artist returned to Paris with his new bride and remained there until 1922 when they returned to Montreal.  Having studied figure painting in France, Holgate began a series of nudes in northern landscapes.

Holgate was instrumental in the founding of the Canadian Society of Graphic Artists* in 1925, and it was as a graphic artist that he first began to attract wide attention. He was asked to join the Group of Seven* in 1930, and he became the eighth member.  Holgate had by then established a reputation for his figure paintings and West Coast and Laurentian landscapes.

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary


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