Cecil Buller Murphy (nee Tremayne Buller) 1888-1973
She was born in 1888 in Montreal, Canada. Best known as a print maker, Buller studied with William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal and at the Art Students League in New York (1910). In 1912 she traveled to Paris with Edwin Holgate, and there she studied with Maurice Denis. In 1916 she was in London, England, studying with Noel Rooke at the Central School of Art and Design, and by 1918 she had settled in New York with her artist husband, J.A. Murphy (1888-1967).
In 1929 she executed several illustrations for the book Song of Solomon and her wood engravings were used to illustrate Cantiques des Cantiques in Paris, 1931. She had two solo shows at Oxford (1951) and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art (1959) and she exhibited actively with the Carnegie Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, in Oxford, England, the Library of Congress (award 1945), and Audubon Artists (gold medal).
Her work is represented in the collections of the British Museum, The Library of Congress, New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, La Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Art Association of Montreal (with William Brymner)
Art Students' League, New York, 1910
Private study, 1912 (with Maurice Denis)
Exhibitions and Reviews:
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 14, 1912) "Art Opening, a Social Event. A Princess Exhibits." Gazette (Montreal) March 15, 1912. p.4.
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 18, 1915) "Martial Note in Pictures Shown. Royal Canadian Academy Exhibition Has Work by Artists Now at Front." Gazette (Montreal) November 19, 1915. p.9.
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 18, 1915) "Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Open Galleries. 288 Fine Pictures on Exhibition at 37th Annual Exhibition." Montreal Herald November 19, 1915. p.5.
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 24, 1916) "Younger Artists Well Represented. Some Leading Exhibitors Are Absent from Thirty-Third Spring Exhibition." Gazette (Montreal) March 24, 1916. p.6.
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 16, 1916) "Art Works on View Set High Standard." Gazette (Montreal) November 17, 1916. p.7.
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 22, 1917) "No Freak Pictures at Spring Show. Big Exhibition at Art Gallery but Works Small in Size. An Added Attraction: French War Posters, Medals and Souvenirs on View to Aid Red Cross Work." Gazette (Montreal) March 23, 1917. p.13.
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 04, 1918) "Spring Exhibition at Art Gallery. Returned Soldier Exhibits Two Works Sketched at the Front." Gazette (Montreal) April 05, 1918. p.5.
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 25, 1920) "Artist's Efforts Reach High Level." Gazette (Montreal) March 26, 1920. p.6.
Writings by the Artist:
Buller, Cecil. An Exhibition of Wood-engravings. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1957.
Buller, Cecil, illus. Cantique Des Cantiques. Paris: ?, 1931.
A Century of American Woodcuts, 1850-1950. New York: Associated American Artists, 1980.
"Art Association Recipient of Gift: 'The Song of Solomon' Has Woodcuts Executed by Cecil Buller." Gazette (Montreal) 22 May 1936.
"Art Works On View Set High Standard: Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of Royal Canadian Academy Is Opened." Gazette (Montreal) 17 Nov. 1916.
"Au Musee du Quebec : Cecil Buller redecouverte." Soleil (Quebec) 17 Jun. 1990.
"Exhibition of Art: High Water Mark Reached in This Year's Spring Showing in Art Galleries." Gazette (Montreal) 3 Apr. 1909: 9.
"For The Art Lover." Ottawa Citizen 26 Nov. 1989.
"Forgotten art..." Windsor Star 16 Feb. 1990.
"Les Petites Expositions." La Patrie (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1925: 18.
"Modern Painting Finds Champion In Cecil Buller." Gazette (Montreal) 26 Apr. 1948.
"Much Good Work at R.C.A. Exhibition: Thirty-Fifth Annual Show Comprises Interesting Pictures by Local Artists." Gazette (Montreal) 21 Nov. 1913: 5.
Ainslie, Patricia. Cecil Buller: Modernist Printmaker/Graveur moderniste. Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1989.
Ainslie, Patricia. Images of the Land: Canadian Block Prints 1919-1945. Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1984.
American Federation of Arts. Who's Who in American Art, 1959. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1959.
Anderson, Jack. "Biblical wood engravings fascinate." Leader Post (Regina) Regina: 6 May 1999.
Art Association of Montreal. Catalogue of the Twenty-Ninth Spring Exhibition of Oils, Watercolours, etc., to be held in the Art Gallery From March Fourteenth until April Sixth, Nineteen Hundred and Twelve. Montreal: Art Association of Montreal, 1912.
Baele, Nancy. "Cecil Buller: a dense world in black-and-white prints." Ottawa Citizen 6 Nov. 1989.
Bertrand, Magdeleine. Les Femmes artistes du Québec de 1875 à 1925. Montreal: Université de Montréal, 1990.
Dempsey, Hugh A. Treasures of the Glenbow Museum. Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1991.
Fletcher, John Gould. "The Woodcuts of Cecil Buller." Print Collector's Quarterly 17.1 (Jan. 1930): 92-105.
Grande, John. "Cecil Tremayne Buller (1883-1973): Her search for the avant-garde left her unknown at home." Art and Auction Review (Oct-Nov. 1988): 28, 29.
Grande, John. "Husband and Wife: the Wood Engravings of John J.A. Murphy and Cecil Buller." On Paper 2 (Mar-Apr 1998): 48-49.
Grande, John. "La Modernité personifiée, mari et femme: l'oeuvre gravée de John J.A. Murphy et de Cecil Buller, Musée des Beaux Arts de Montreal." Vie des Arts 42.70 (Spring 1998): 78-79.
Grande, John. "The Song of Songs." Vie des Arts 45.182 (Spring 2001): 80.
Hill, C.C. and P.B. Landry, eds. National Gallery Catalogue, Canadian Art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1988.
Hill, Sharon. "Buller's modernist style good enough to print." Windsor Star 1 Feb. 1990.
Holme, Geoffrey, ed., with Malcolm C. Salaman. Modern Woodcuts and Lithographs By British and French Artists. London, Paris, New York: The Studio Ltd, 1919.
Holme, Geoffrey, ed., with Malcolm C. Salaman. The Woodcut of To-Day At Home and Abroad. London: The Studio Ltd, 1927.
Kozinska, Dorota. "Prints exude a rare sensuality: Husband, wife worked together." Gazette (Montreal) 29 Nov. 1997.
Kozinska, Dorota. "Quebec City bound? Museum is worth a peek." Gazette (Montreal) 28 Jun. 1997.
M., M. "Cecil Buller, graveur moderniste." Collage (Sept-Oct. 1990): 5.
MacDonald, Colin S. Dictionary of Canadian Artists. Ottawa: Canadian Paperbacks, 1967.
Martin, Denis. Mari et femme: l'oeuvre gravé de John JA Murphy et de Cecil Buller/Husband and wife: the wood engravings of John J.A. Murphy and Cecil Buller. Quebec: Musée du Quebec Dialangue, 1997.
Martin, Denis. "Cecil Tremayne Buller (Montréal, 1888-1973)" Estampe au Québec, 1900-1950 Quebec: Musée du Québec, 1988.
Mason, Lauris, and Joan Ludman, eds.. "Cecil Buller" Print Collector's Quarterly: An Anthology of Essays on Eminent Printmakers of The World, Vol. 2 New York: KTO Press, (1977): 1014-25.
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.
Murray, Joan. The Birth of the Modern: Post-Impressionism in Canadian Art, c.1900-1920. Oshawa: The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2001.
Musée du Québec. Au féminin: choix d'oeuvres de la collection du Musée du Québec, 1920-1930. Québec: Musée du Québec, 1997.
Parke-Taylor, Michael. "The Collection Up Close: Cecil Buller." Art Gallery of Ontario Journal 2.6 (Nov-Dec. 1994): 1.
Parke-Taylor, Michael. "Twentieth-Century Canadian Prints." Print Quarterly 7.2 (1990): 200-04.
Strojek, Sylvia. "Dusting off a printmaker's forgotten legacy." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 6 Apr. 1989.
Tremblay, Roger. "Au Musée du Quebec: Cecil Buller redécouverte." Le Soleil (Quebec) 17 Jun. 1990.
File & Archive locations
National Gallery of Canada - Library and Archives
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery - Clara Lander Library
Vancouver Public Library - Fine Arts and Music Division
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative, firstname.lastname@example.org