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The Lumberjack

Edwin Headley Holgate
The Lumberjack (le Bucheron), 1924
oil on canvas
64.8 x 56.6 cm
Gift of the Sarnia Women’s Conservation Art Association, 1956

Edwin Headly Holgate was born in Allendale, Ontario in 1882, and as a small child his family moved to Jamaica where his father worked as an engineer. Around 1897 Edwin returned to Toronto to study and in 1901 the Holgates settled in Montréal. Holgate was enrolled in classes at the Art Association of Montreal where he studied with Maurice Cullen and William Brymner for two years before moving to Paris to further his studies. He came home to Canada in 1915 and his first exhibition was at the Arts Club of Montreal in 1922, and began accompanying his friend A.Y. Jackson on painting expeditions. His work was included in several Group of Seven exhibitions and he became an official member in 1929.

As a central figure in the development of modern art in Canada, Holgate forged his own path balancing traditional and modern stylistic approaches. He was a member of various social and professional groups including the Canadian Group of Painters, the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and the Pen and Pencil Club. Returning home from England in 1943 after a brief stint as an official war artistin Europe, Holgate felt displaced by newer developments in the local art scene in Montreal. He continued his figurative work, moving to the Laurentians in 1946. He moved back to Montreal for health reasons and died there in 1977 at the age of eighty-four.

 



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