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 Robert Francis Michael McInnis  (1942 - )



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Lived/Active: Manitoba/New Brunswick / Canada      Known for: painting, printmaking, commercial art, illustration, photography

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Robert Francis Michael McInnis CIPA (1) (1942)

A well-known Canadian painter, printmaker, commercial artist, illustrator, author, photographer and educator, Robert Francis Michael McInnis (AKA: R.F.M. McInnis) was born in Saint John, New Brunswick and currently (2012) lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba (2). His works have been exhibited in many of Canada’s most prominent galleries, his paintings are in the permanent collections of several major Canadian museums, and his biography has been included in every issue of “Canadian Who’s Who” for over two decades.

His mediums include oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen & ink, monotype*, serigraph* and gelatin silver print. His subjects include landscapes, portraits, still lifes, nudes, figures, interiors, snowscapes, the prairies, farms, suburban back lanes, urban street scenes, grain elevators, industrial sites and trains. His styles include Realism*, Expressionism* and Fauvism*. AskART Images have some good illustrations of his work.

His formal art education includes a Diploma in Fine and Applied Arts (1961) from Saint John Vocational School, where he studied under Frederick Joseph Ross [see AskART] and Daniel Edwin (Ted) Campbell (b. 1904). After graduation McInnis worked as a newspaper reporter and photographer for the Telegraph Journal and Evening Times Globe, Saint John (1961 – 1962); he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, where he was a graphic artist and photographer (1962 – 1966); he was a graphic illustrator for Transport Canada (1966 – 1967); and he was head of the art department at Prince George College, British Columbia (1968 to 1971). He’s been a professional artist since 1971.

His works have been included in group exhibitions with the Maritime Art Association* (1960 – 1967); the National Arts Centre, Ottawa (1981); the Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta [now Art Gallery of Alberta] (1986 – 1990); the Glenbow Museum, Calgary (1986 – 1997); the University of Alberta, Edmonton (1993); and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick (2009). They were also included in "Spectrum 67", Vancouver Art Gallery, B.C. (1967); "The Great Canadian Super Show", Edmonton Art Gallery (1971); ''Treasured Moments", MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan (1997); “Finding Our Way Home” Provincial Museum of Alberta [now Royal Alberta Museum], Edmonton and touring (1999); “Airflight 2001”, National Aviation Museum [now Canada Aviation and Space Museum], Ottawa (2001); and “McInnis, Davies, Graff, Stehelin”, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Alberta (2004).

He’s been the subject of solo shows at the Burnaby Art Gallery, B.C. (1970); Hart House Art Gallery, University of Toronto (1977); the New Brunswick Museum, Saint John (1977); and the Edmonton Art Gallery (1986, 1987, 1988, and 2004).

His works have also been in solo and group exhibitions at some of Canada’s most prominent commercial galleries such as Masters Gallery, Calgary; Canadian Art Galleries, Calgary; Mayberry Fine Art, Winnipeg; Roberts Gallery, Toronto; Wallack Galleries, Ottawa; Dominion Corinth Gallery, Ottawa; and Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal.

McInnis’s works are avidly collected in Canada, they are frequently traded on the Canadian auction market, and there are examples in several Canadian museum collections.

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, his works are in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Galerie Montcalm (Gatineau, Quebec), Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina, Saskatchewan), New Brunswick Museum (Saint John), Nickle Arts Museum (Calgary, Alberta), University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (Lethbridge, Alberta), and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Banff, Alberta). (3)

McInnis is the author and illustrator of The Renegade's Lament (1973) and the illustrator of Toronto We Love You – The Brunswick House (1973) and A is Alberta: A Centennial Alphabet (2005). He’s also famous for painting the Tom Thomson like pictures for the movie The Far Shore (1974).
(1) CIPA – McInnis is a member of the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists.

(2) McInnes has also lived in many other cities and towns in Canada (and their environs), they include: Prince George, B.C. (1968 – 1971); Powell River, B.C. (1971 – 1973); Toronto, Ontario (1973 – 1978); Calgary, Alberta (1978 – 1983); Ottawa, Ontario (1983 – 1986); Edmonton, Alberta (1986 – 1993); Quebec City [eleven months] (1991 – 1992); Nanton, Alberta (1993 – 1996); and Fort Macleod, Alberta, (1993 –  2005). Sources: “Canadian Who’s Who – 2011” (see AskART book references) and the RFM McInnis website.

(3) Canadian Who’s Who – 2011 and the RFM McInnis website include the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (Fredericton, New Brunswick), the Glenbow Museum (Calgary), the Royal Alberta Museum (Edmonton), and several other museums, foundations and organizations as collectors of Mcinnis’s work; there is no reason to doubt it, although we could not confirm them all online or through the Canadian Heritage Information Network*.

Canadian Who’s Who – 2011 (2011), edited by Lynn Browne and Gwen Peroni (see AskART book references)

Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)

The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references)

Canadian Who’s Who – 1996 (1996), edited by Elizabeth Lumley (see AskART book references)

Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson (see AskART book references)

Canadian Who’s Who – 1990 (1990), edited by Kieran Simpson (see AskART book references)

A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references)

Canadian Heritage Information Network*

Art Gallery of Ontario (catalogue summaries online)

RFM McInnis website

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

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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