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 Clara Hagarty  (1871 - 1958)

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Lived/Active: Canada      Known for: Floral still life painting

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Biography from Waddington's:
Clara Sophia Hagarty set up her studio in Toronto in the late 1890s, upon her completion of studying abroad in Paris and Holland.  Her practice experienced a brief interlude between 1914-1919 when Hagarty joined the Red Cross to assist Canadian Forces during World War One.  When she returned to Toronto following the end of the conflict, she took up post as the Records Keeper for the Art Gallery of Toronto.  She remained under the gallery's employ until 1928, the year that also heralded the first of her many exhibitions at T. Eaton's and Company. 

It is little wonder that Hagarty's works were well-loved by the art critics of her time.  With war still fresh in the collective memory, people craved art that emphasized aesthetic value over socio-political themes.  Hagarty's flower studies and pastels were firmly grounded in this Aesthetic Movement.  The work "Petunias" on a canvas of white, pink and mauve petunias cascading over a cornucopia is exemplary of her style.  Against a shaded background, the flowers swell and spill over - the vessel, unable to contain their delicate vibrancy; their colours, unmuted by their darkened surroundings.

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