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 Alice Des Clayes  (1890 - 1968)

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Lived/Active: Quebec / Canada/England/Scotland      Known for: rural genre, animal and figure painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Judging the Farmers’ Cobs at Widecombe Fair
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is from the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative,


Born:  Aberdeen Grampian, Scotland, 1890
Died:  England?, 1968

Biography synopsis

Best known for her animal and rural genre scenes, the youngest of the Des Clayes sisters came to Montreal in 1914, after studying at the Bushey School of Art and the Newland School of Art in England. A regular exhibitor in the Royal Canadian Academy and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts spring shows between 1914 and 1940, Alice was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1920.

Other distinctions include a reproduction of her work Remounts in Newton MacTavish's book The Fine Arts in Canada in 1925.  Experimenting with a variety of media, she worked in watercolours, oils, pastels and coloured chalks. She returned to England in 1938.

In Canada, her work can be found in several galleries, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Media used

Bushey School of Art, Bushey, England (under Lucy Kemp-Welch and Rowland Wheelwright)
Newlyn School of Art, Newlyn, England
Private study (under Dudley Hardy)

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, 1920
Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, 1926

File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada - Library and Archives
Toronto Reference Library
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Library and Archives

"Art Association Spring Exhibition Opened Last Night." Montreal Herald 17 Mar. 1933.
"Art of Canadians Well Represented." Gazette (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1920: 1.
"Art Works On View Set High Standard: Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of Royal Canadian Academy Is Opened." Gazette (Montreal) 17 Nov. 1916.
"Artists Young and Well-Known in Exhibition." Montreal Herald 4 Apr. 1918.
"Au salon du printemps." Le Devoir (Montreal) 18 Apr. 1922: 1-2.
"Des Clayes' Pictures Blaze Of Autumn Tints." Montreal Star 30 Nov. 1932.
"Etudes sur quelques toiles." La Presse (Montreal) 25 Nov. 1922.
"Exhibits At Spring Show Now Open Number Nearly 500." Montreal Herald and Daily Telegraph 26 Mar. 1915.
"Exposition de peintures par nos artistes." La Presse (Montreal) 1 Apr. 1921: 7.
"Exposition de tableaux par le peintre J. Jutras." La Presse (Montreal) 14 Apr. 1925.
"Exposition remarquable chez Eaton." La Presse (Montreal) 8 Oct. 1927: 45.
"Fine Work Marks R.C.A. Exhibition." Gazette (Montreal) 20 Nov. 1925.
"Further Notes on Pictures at the Spring Show." Montreal Star 29 Mar. 1916.
"Great Variety Marks Annual Academy Show." Globe (Toronto) 21 Nov. 1919.
"High Standard Set by R.C.A. Pictures: Forty-Fourth Exhibition Opened With Private View Last Night." Gazette (Montreal) 17 Nov. 1922: 9.
"L'Exposition de peintures." La Presse (Montreal) 23 Mar. 1912.
"La 60e exposition de las RCA: 308 oeuvres d'art." La Patrie (Montreal) 17 Nov. 1939.
"La Galérie Eaton: L'exposition des artistes de la province de Québec." La Patrie (Montreal) 21 Oct. 1927: 14.
"Le Salon Automne." La Patrie (Montreal) 20 Nov. 1925: 17.
"Le Salon du Printemps." La Patrie (Montreal) 26 Mar. 1928: 17.
"Le Salon du Printemps." Le Canada (Montreal) 5 Apr. 1926.
"Le salon du printemps." Le Devoir (Montreal) 4 Apr. 1940: 4.
"Le Vernissage du printemps à la Galérie des Arts." La Patrie (Montreal) 16 Mar. 1923: 15.
"Les trois soeurs Des-Clayes exposent aux galeries Watson." La Patrie (Montreal) 9 Apr. 1925.
"Meritorious Work At Spring Exhibit: Mural Paintings in R.C.A. Competition Part of Entries at Art Gallery." Gazette (Montreal) 28 Mar. 1924.
"Montreal Artists Well Represented: High Standard Set at Spring Exhibition of Art Association." Gazette (Montreal) 16 Mar. 1923: 6.
"Nos artistes canadiens." La Presse (Montreal) 8 Sept. 1925: 6.
"Nouvelle visite au salon des artistes." La Presse (Montreal) 6 Apr. 1925: 27.
"Oeuvre de solidarité." La Patrie (Montreal) 17 Feb. 1933.
"Ouverture de l'exposition de peintures." La Presse (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1920: 29.
"Portraits Are Feature of the Art Exhibition." Montreal Star 5 Apr. 1921.
"Private View Held at Art Exhibition." Gazette (Montreal) 27 Mar. 1926.
"Protestations des artistes canadiens." La Patrie (Montreal) 9 Dec. 1932.
"Quelques héros de Louis Hémon en sculpture." La Presse (Montreal) 24 Mar. 1922.
"Royal Canadian Academy Exhibition has Work by Artists Now at Front." Gazette (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1915.
"Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Open Galleries." Montreal Herald 19 Nov. 1915.
"Some Pictures In the Spring Exhibition." Toronto Star 22 Mar. 1935.
"Spring Art Show has 478 Exhibits." Gazette (Montreal) 26 Mar. 1915.
"Spring Exhibition at Art Galleries: Younger Men and Women Encouraged by Jury of Selection." Gazette (Montreal) 23 Mar. 1928: 8.
"Spring Exhibition at Art Gallery is Along Normal Lines." Montreal Star 21 Mar. 1923: 1-2.
"Spring Exhibition at the Art Galleries." Montreal Herald 4 Apr. 1921.
"Spring Exhibition of Art Association was Opened on Thursday." Toronto Star 12 Mar. 1933.
"Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal." Toronto Star 22 Mar. 1933.
"Spring Exhibition." Montreal Star 1926.
"Spring Exhibition." Montreal Star 22 Mar. 1929.
"Talented Sisters Show Paintings." Gazette (Montreal) 24 Jan. 1934.
"Three Sisters Combine in Exhibition." Montreal Star 16 Dec. 1931.
"Toiles remarquables par les peintres de Toronto." La Presse (Montreal) 23 Nov. 1925.
"Un intéressant salon d'automne." Le Canada (Montreal) 23 Nov. 1929.
"Well Represented at R.C.A.'s Annual Exhibit." Montreal Herald 22 Nov. 1913.
Beatty, J. W. "Canadian Art Appreciated." Canadian Courier 1912.
Bertrand, Magdeleine. Les Femmes artistes du Québec de 1875 à 1925. Montreal: Université de Montréal, 1990.
Bradfield, Helen Pepall. Art Gallery of Ontario: The Canadian Collection. Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1970.
Canadian National Exhibition. Canadian National Exhibition: Department of Fine Arts, August 23rd - September 6th, 1919. Toronto: 1919.
Canadian National Exhibition. Canadian National Exhibition: Department of Fine Arts, August 25-September 10th, 1917. Toronto: 1917.
Canadian National Exhibition. Canadian National Exhibition: Department of Fine Arts, August 26-September 7th, 1918. Toronto: 1918.
Canadian National Exhibition. Catalogue of Paintings and International Graphic Art: Toronto, August 26th - September 9th, 1922. Toronto: Canadian National Exhibition, 1922.
Canadian National Exhibition. Catalogue of Paintings and International Graphic Art: Toronto, August 27th - September 10th, 1921. Toronto: Canadian National Exhibition, 1921.
Canadian National Exhibition. Catalogue of Paintings, Graphic Art and Photography, Toronto, August 23-September 6th, 1924. Toronto: Canadian National Exhibition, 1924.
Canadian Newspaper Service. Canadian Newspaper Service Reference Book: Biographical Reference Data and General Information. Montreal: Canadian Newspaper Service, Ltd, 1940.
Comeau, André. Artistes Plasticiens. Montreal: Bellarmin, 1983.
Davies, Blodwen. "Canadian Women of Brush and Chisel." Chatelaine 3 (Jun. 1930): 9, 42.
Fabien, Henri. "Chronique d'art: Le Salon du printemps." Le Devoir (Montreal) 10 Apr. 1915: 1.
Fulgence. "Nos artistes canadiens." La Presse (Montreal) 8 Sept. 1925.
Graves, Algernon. The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and Their Works from its Foundations in 1769 to 1904. London: Henry Graves & Co. and George Bell & Sons, 1905.
H.P.B. "I.A.A. Opens Exhibition with 300 Canvases." Montreal Daily Star 12 Oct. 1932: 8.
Hill, C.C. and P.B. Landry, eds. National Gallery Catalogue, Canadian Art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1988.
Hughes, Margaret E. A Guide to Canadian Painters. Toronto: King's Printer, 1940.
Johnson, Jane and A. Greutzer. Dictionary of British Artists, 1880-1940. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1976.
Jones, Hugh Griffith. History of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Montreal: T.A. Dickson, 1934.
Laberge, Albert. "Causerie en marge du salon du printemps." La Presse (Montreal) 3 Apr. 1923.
Laberge, Albert. "Exposition de peintures par les artistes de la province." La Presse (Montreal) 12 Oct. 1927.
Laliberté, Alfred. Les Artistes de mon temps. Montreal: Le Boréal, 1986.
Laurette, Patrick C. Scottish Painting in Canada. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1978.
MacDonald, Colin S.. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009
MacTavish, Newton. Ars Longa. Toronto: The Ontario Publishing Co., 1925.
MacTavish, Newton. The Fine Arts in Canada. Toronto: Macmillan, 1925.
McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Formerly Art Association of Montreal: Spring Exhibitions, 1880-1970. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.
McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Royal Canadian Academy of Arts/Académie royale des arts du Canada: Exhibitions and Members 1880-1979. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.
Monnier, Jacques. "Au Musee Provincial." Le Journal (Quebec) 3 Aug. 1936: 4.
Morgan-Powell, S. "Originality and Crude Paintings at Exhibition." Montreal Star 18 Nov. 1916.
Morgan-Powell, S. "Vivid Portraits at Art Exhibition are Outstanding Features." Montreal Star 27 Mar. 1922.
Morin, Leo-Pol. "Le Salon du Printemps à la 'Art Association'." La Patrie (Montreal) 28 Mar. 1928.
National Gallery of Canada. Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture: Canadian School. Ottawa: Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, 1957.
Nixon, Virginia. "Galerie Bernard Desroches." Gazette (Montreal) 24 Aug. 1974.
Petteys, Chris, et al. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
Powell, S. Morgan. "R.C.A. Annual Exhibition is Here for Month." Montreal Daily Star 22 Nov. 1915: 2.
Powell, S. Morgan. "Spring Exhibition." Montreal Star 7 Apr. 1926.
Reynald. "Le 50e salon du printemps." La Presse (Montreal) 17 Mar. 1933.
Robson, Albert Henry. Canadian Landscape Painters. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1932.
Royal Academy of Arts. Exhibitions 1905-1970: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Summer Exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts. East Ardsley: EP Publishing, 1982.
S.M.P. "Art Association Exhibition Shows Notable Features." Montreal Star 25 Mar. 1918.
Saint-Yves, Paul. "Aux Galeries Eaton." Le Devoir (Montreal) 10 Oct. 1927.
Westbridge, Anthony R. Canadian Art Sales Index. Vancouver: Westbridge Publications Ltd., 1995.
Westbridge, Anthony R. The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction. Vancouver: Westbridge Publications, 2001.

 Writings By
Edwards, Ethel; illustrated by Alice Des Clayes. "Burham's Disillusionment." Canadian Magazine 49.1 (May 1917): 21-31.

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