William Arthur Winter RCA, MSA, OSA, CGP, CSPWC (1909-1996)
William Arthur Winter was a painter, illustrator, graphic artist, commercial artist, educator and muralist. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba he moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1937, where he lived and worked for most of his life. He died in England, where he had lived since 1994.
His mediums were oil, gouache, watercolor, pencil, colored chalk, ink, graphite and mixed mediums. His subjects were children, ballet, urban life, genre, social commentary, portraits, figures and landscape. His styles were Realist and Modernist. His work in the 1940's and 50's, which some consider his best, was in a social realist vein similar to that of Ben Shahn and Thomas Hart Benton (see both in AskART). Though, he is most famous for his, more cheerful, later work depicting children and their activities. Quote:"I paint with a great deal of nostalgia. I paint my own boyhood." – William Arthur Winter.
He studied at the Winnipeg School of Art (1923 -1929) under Lemoine Fitzgerald (see AskART) and Franz Johnston (see AskART). He worked as a commercial artist from 1930 to 1935 at Brigden’s Winnipeg and from 1942 to 1955 in Toronto partnering with Lesley Wookey and Jack Bush (see AskART). In the 1960’s he also taught at the Ontario College of Art (Toronto) and the Artist's Workshop (Toronto).
His travels include Italy (1963), Spain (1965), Greece (1966) and Mexico.
Winter was a member of the Manitoba Society of Artists (1934), the Ontario Society of Artists (1938), the Canadian Group of Painters (1945) and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolor (1945; President 1946-48). In 1947 he was elected an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art and in 1953 he was elevated to full member. He exhibited with the RCA from 1945 to 1963 and at Hart House (Toronto) in a two man show with Jack Bush in 1945. He was also included in the 1949 Art Gallery of Toronto (since 1966 - the Art Gallery of Ontario) exhibition “50 Years of Painting in Canada”.
In addition to exhibiting with the above organizations Winter has been given numerous solo shows by some of Canada’s most distinguished art dealers including Roberts Gallery, Toronto (since 1959) and Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal (since 1978). One of his first dealers was the Eaton’s College Street Gallery, Toronto where he had several solo exhibits between 1948 and 1954.
His work is in many private and corporate collections. It is also in the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario), Museum London (Ontario), the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario) and the Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.). A mural example can be seen at the Oshawa Public library.
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke