Canadian Artists Unite to Boycott National Gallery

Agree to Refuse to Send Work to Exhibits Sponsored by Institution


Petition Presented to Premier Previously,
and Also to Governor-General-in-Council.

Montreal Gazette - December 8, 1932
(By The Canadian Press.)

     Toronto, December 8 - Over 100 Canadian artist from coast to coast, many of whose names are household words, have signed an agreement that "until a redical reform has taken place in the management and policy" of the National Gallery at Ottawa, particularly in the selection of pictures for its annual show and for representative Canadian exhibitions in Britain and abroad, they pledge themselves "to refuse to send any of their work to the National Gallery or to any exhibition installed by it."
     The agreement refers to a document, signed by 67 artists of Canada, forwarded to the Prime Minister some months ago, and to a petition more recently submitted to the Governor-General-in-Council. It is understood the burden of this protest was the National Gallery of Canada has for years exhibited a flagrant partisanship in the selection and hanging of pictures at the annual exhibition in Ottawa, and that the directors of the National Gallery have selected and distributed works, at home and abroad, that do not represent the best in Canadian art.
     In essence, the complaint is the director of the National Gallery and the laymen who assist him have favored a certain few at the expense of the great majority of Canadian artists. This, it is claimed, has been markedly the case in the purchase of the work of Canadian artists for the National Gallery at Ottawa, and the petitioners further suggested a much larger proportion of the annual sum of over $100,000 voted by Parliament for the purchase of pictures for the National Gallery be expended in Canada for Canadian artists.
     Signatories to the petition to the Governor-General-in-Council include members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, the Ontario Society of Artists, The Canadian Society of Graphic Arts, the Vancouver Sketch Club, The Palette and Chisel Club, The Island Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria, the Calgary Art Club, and other Canadian professional artists.
     The 118 artists who have signed the agreement to date are headed by E. Wyly Grier, president of the Royal Canadian Academy and past-president of the Ontario Society of Artists. Others include:
     ( ... Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Montreal omitted ... )
     Vancouver - Florence Fowler, John Innes, C. Cameron Ramsay, E.C. Thrapp (sic Thrupp), Reginald P. Wilson, F.C. Cunningham, H.G. White, Harry E. Kent, Norman H. Hawkins, F.B. (sic) Thursby, J.A. Radford, Dermott McEvoy, R. Coventry, Jas. J. Osborne, Jack Booker, Githa Owen, Adela W. Pilkington, V.A. Long.
     Victoria - Thos. Bamford, Will Menelaws, Rose M. Willis, D.S. Cameron, Cadius Edmunds, A.M. Ansta, Unity Baile, Arthur Chekley (sic), T.S. Gore, Ethel F. Berreill, Louise A. Loveland, C.T. Alexander, Maude M. Lettiie (sic), and Gladys Woodward.
     ( ... Also - omitted ... )

Clipping provided courtesy of Concordia University CWAHI project.