North Shore Historic Art

Frederick Sproston Challener RCA OSA CSPWC (1869-1959)

Frederick Challener was born in England and emigrated to Canada with his parents when he was just a year old. He started sketching while working at a stockbroker's office in Toronto and spent his lunch hours outside of the Notman and Fraser Photography Studio, which held regular exhibits of Canadian artists. He was given a free education at the Ontario School of Art, based on the quality of the sketches he had been making. Just four months into this education, his teachers advised him that he was ready to work as a professional artist. He then left the stockbroker's office and began working as an apprentice at a lithography company in Toronto. He then approached G.A. Reid, who game him private instuction in the evenings. In 1890, he held his first solo show at the Royal Canadian Academy. From 1898-1899 he travelled across Europe and North Africa viewing murals, which inspired him to begin working in this medium upon his return. He subsequently completed numerous murals which were in the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, the Russel Theatre in Ottawa, The Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg, as well as 14 panels for the R.S. McLaughlin residence in Oshawa. In 1901, he won a bronze medal at the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, New York for "The Workers of the Fields" which became his diploma painting for the RCA and was deposited in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada. He was commissioned to paint a number of large oils for the Government of Ontario. He taught at Central Technical School in Toronto from 1921-1924 and at the Ontario College of Art from 1927-1952. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, the Ontario Society of Artists and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. His paintings are in numerous public and private collections around the world.  




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2011 North Shore Historic Art