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 Betty Goodwin  (1923 - 2008)

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Lived/Active: Quebec / Canada      Known for: drawing, figurative abstraction, sculpture, printmaking

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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 Iniative


Montreal, Quebec, 1923
Montreal, Quebec, 2008

Biography synopsis
Known for her haunting evocations of the human body in drawings and prints, Betty Goodwin was one of Canada's most celebrated artists, garnering praise both here and abroad. After studying design at Valentine’s Commercial School of Art in Montreal, she took a printmaking course from Yves Gaucher at Sir George Williams University.

She began her career as a painter and printmaker in the late 1940s, choosing landscapes and still lifes as her subject matter. Increasingly discontented with her work, she destroyed most of it in 1968 and made the decision to limit herself to drawing and etching. The following year she took her art a step further by putting a pair of gloves directly through an etching press; clothing and textiles continued to make regular appearances in her work.

Goodwin knew a great deal of tragedy in her family life: her father, an immigrant to Canada from Romania, died when she was only nine, and she lost her only son (with husband, Martin Goodwin) to a drug overdose in 1976. By contrast, her artistic career continued to flourish: she represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and won numerous accolades over the years, including the Lynch-Stauton Award of Distinction (1983), the Banff Centre National Award for Visual Arts (1984), the Paul-Émile Borduas Prize (1986), the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1988), the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (1995), the Harold Town Prize for drawing (1998), the Governor General's Award in Visual Arts (2003), the Order of Canada (2003) and honorary doctorates from schools across Canada (Université de Montréal, The University of Guelph, and The University of Waterloo, among others).

Her work can be found in several collections in Canada, including 200 pieces at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Media used
Mixed media
Valentine Commercial School of Art
Sir George Williams University (under Yves Gaucher)
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Artexte Information Centre - Documentation Centre
Hamilton Public Library - Fine Arts Department
London Public Library
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - Media Centre
National Gallery of Canada - Library and Archives
Toronto Reference Library
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
University of Calgary Library
Vancouver Art Gallery - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery - Clara Lander Library

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