North Shore Historic Art

William Goodridge Roberts RCA OSA (1904-1974)

William Goodridge Roberts was born in the British West Indies while his parents were on vacation, and they returned to Fredericton shortly thereafter. He first studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts from 1923-1925. He won all of the available prizes in his first year. He then studied at the Art Students' League in New York under John Sloan, Boardman Robinson and Max Weber from 1926-1928. He worked as a draughtsman for the New Brunswick Forestry Service, but continued to paint a watercolour before and after work each day. He then opened a summer art school at Wakefield on the Gatineau River. The opening was attended by Eric Brown, director of the National Gallery of Canada. He then tented on the property of H.O. McCurry, assistant director of the National Gallery. He held his first solo show at the Arts Club of Montreal. John Lyman purchase a drawing from this exhibition, and gave Roberts his first critical recognition. In 1933, Lyman invited him to exhibit in Montreal. In 1939 he became a member of the Eastern Group, and the Contemporary Art Society. The National Gallery of Canada purchased one of his paintings in 1941. He later shared a studio with Ernst Neumann, and the two founded the Roberts-Neumann School of Art. From 1939-1943, he exhibited at the Art Association of Montreal. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at Dominion Gallery in Montreal in 1943. In this same year he was also appointed an official war artist. His work was exhibited in the Canadian Pavillion at Expo 67 and also the Centennial Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada. In 1970, the National Gallery held a retrospective exhibition of his work which included 146 works. He has also held solo exhibitions at most of the pajor public and private galleries in Canada, as well as others arouns the world. He was a elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and the Ontario Society of Artists.


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2011 North Shore Historic Art