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ROBERTSON, Sarah Margaret Armour

Born
Montreal, Quebec, 1891
Died
Montreal, Quebec, 1948
Biography synopsis
A painter of colourful and vivacious landscapes, Sarah Robertson spent most of life in Montreal, rarely venturing further than Ontario or Vermont for her subject matter. After studying under William Brymner, Maurice Cullen, and Randolph Hewton, she joined the loosely-knit Beaver Hall Group, which included such artists as Edwin Holgate, A.Y. Jackson, and Kathleen Morris among its members. Perhaps most importantly, she became close friends with Prudence Heward, who often invited her to her family's summer home in Brockville, Ontario where they painted together. Influenced by Impressionism, Fauvism and, to a lesser extent, the Group of Seven, Robertson is known for her rich colours, and the sumptuous, jewel-like quality of her work. In addition to landscapes, she also made chalk drawings, black and white designs, and painted murals for private houses. She was not particularly prolific, generally completing only three to four canvasses in a productive year, most now in private collections. Her work has rarely been shown outside of Canada, where she exhibited with groups such as the Art Association of Montreal (1919-45), the Royal Canadian Academy (1920-23, 1925-27, 1934), the Canadian Group of Painters (1933-1934,1936-39, 1942,1947), and the Ontario Society of Artists (1927-30), though her paintings were in the Wembley exhibitions in England, and at the Riverside Museum in New York City the year before her death. She is represented in the collections of the University of Alberta, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, among others.
Media used
Drawing
Mural painting and decoration
Painting
Watercolour
Education
Art Association of Montreal, 1910 - ? (under William Brymner and Maurice Cullen)
Art Association of Montreal, 1921 - 1924 (under Randolph Hewton)
Memberships
Beaver Hall Group, ca. 1924
Art Association of Montreal, 1919
Canadian Group of Painters, 1933
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
London Public Library, ON
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, ON
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
University of Calgary Library, AB
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
A Century of Canadian Art. Ottawa and London: National Gallery of Canada and Tate Gallery, 1938.
"59 Paintings Auctioned for Refugees' Benefit Bring Total of $2459." Ottawa Citizen 4 Oct. 1940.
"?" Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 4 (Jan. 1927): 25.
"Art Association's Spring Exhibition: Private View Ushered in Showing of Representative Assemblage of Work." Gazette (Montreal) 3 Apr. 1925.
"Art Exhibit Discussed: Private Showing Given Members of Windsor Association." Windsor Star 1 Dec. 1942.
"Art Exhibition: More about the paintings." Daily Witness (Montreal) 3 Apr. 1897: 1.
"Art Exhibition: Water Colours, Statuary and Miniatures." Montreal Daily Witness 6 Apr. 1897.
"Au fil de l'heure: Le Groupe Beaver Hall." La Presse 20 Jan. 1921.
"By Canadian Artists: Works of More Modern Type Excite Interest." Gazette (Montreal) 30 Apr. 1928.
"Canadian Group Shows Nearly 100 Paintings." Gazette (Montreal) 10 Jan. 1948.
"Canadian School is Well Represented at the Art Exhibition." Herald (Montreal) 25 Mar. 1922.
"Coast to Coast in Art." Canadian Art 6.4 (1947): 178.
"Des artistes qui affirment de beaux dons." La Presse (Montreal) 21 Jan. 1922.
"Exhibition of oils by Sarah Robertson." Gazette (Montreal) 16 Feb. 1952.
"Exhibits At Spring Show Now Open Number Nearly 500." Montreal Herald and Daily Telegraph 26 Mar. 1915.
"Exposition des arts." La Patrie (Montreal) 26 Mar. 1915.
"Fewer Paintings, Higher Standards: Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of Art Association of Montreal." Gazette (Montreal) 1 Apr. 1921.
"Fine Arts ... Paintings Are Shown By Canadian Group." Gazette (Montreal) 6 Feb. 1943.
"Fine Work Marks R.C.A. Exhibition." Gazette (Montreal) 20 Nov. 1925.
"For the third time the Produced in Canada Exhibition ..." Montrealer 1 Nov. 1937.
"High Standard Set by R.C.A. Pictures: Forty-Fourth Exhibition Opened With Private View Last Night." Gazette (Montreal) 17 Nov. 1922: 9.
"Klinkhoff Honors Overlooked Painter: Montrealer Robertson deserved a better fate." Gazette (Montreal) 14 Sept. 1991: K1.
"Meritorious Work At Spring Exhibit: Mural Paintings in R.C.A. Competition Part of Entries at Art Gallery." Gazette (Montreal) 28 Mar. 1924.
"Oil Paintings Now on Display Here." Times-Globe (Saint John) 2 Nov. 1943: G1.
"Ouverture de l'exposition de peintures." La Presse (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1920: 29.
"Paintings on View are Doubly Local." Gazette (Montreal) 7 Dec. 1932.
"Photo of 'Le Repos' with comments." Christian Science Monitor Boston: 20 Aug. 1940.
"Picture Sale Aiding Orphans in Spain." Gazette (Montreal) 5 Mar. 1938.
"Profuse Variety Marks Art Show: Third Exhibition of Works by Quebec Artists at Eaton Galleries." Montreal Star 13 May 1930.
"Quelques héros de Louis Hémon en sculpture." La Presse (Montreal) 24 Mar. 1922.
"Remarquable exposition de tableaux et d'études." La Presse (Montreal) 15 Dec. 1925: 23.
"Spring Art Show has 478 Exhibits." Gazette (Montreal) 26 Mar. 1915.
"Spring Exhibition at Art Galleries: Younger Men and Women Encouraged by Jury of Selection." Gazette (Montreal) 23 Mar. 1928: 8.
"Spring Exhibition at the Art Galleries." Montreal Herald 4 Apr. 1921.
"Women's lives." Gazette (Montreal) 12 Sept. 1994: D3.
"Women's Works on Exhibit." Standard (Montreal) 2 Apr. 1949.
Albright Art Gallery. Exhibition of Paintings by Canadian Artists. Buffalo, New York: Albright Art Gallery, 1928.
Allison, Catherine. "Versatile academic 'wanted to be an artist': Niece of A.Y. Jackson died Dec. 25 at 91." Ottawa Citizen 28 Dec. 2001: D1.
American Federation of the Arts. Who's Who in American Art, 1982. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1982.
Amos, Robert. "Story Behind the Pictures." Times-Colonist (Victoria) 15 Oct. 2000: B11.
Art Association of Montreal. Catalogue of the Fifty-Third Spring Exhibition. Montreal: Art Association of Montreal, 1936.
Art Association of Montreal. Catalogue of the Sixty-Second Annual Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal. Montreal: Art Association of Montreal, 1945.
Art Gallery of Toronto. Anne Savage, Prudence Heward, Sarah Robertson, Ethel Seath: Exhibition, February 1940. Toronto: Art Gallery of Toronto, 1940.
Avon, Susan. The Beaver Hall Group and its Place in the Montreal Art Milieu and the Nationalist Network. Montreal: Concordia University, 1994.
Ayre, Robert. "Art News and Reviews: Evolution In Canadian Art Principal Message of Exhibition, 56th In Art Association's History." Standard (Montreal) 25 Mar. 1939: D14.
Ayre, Robert. "Art News and Reviews: Exhibition of 'Art of Our Day' By Contemporary Arts Society Found Haunting and Significant." Standard (Montreal) 12 Jul. 1940: 7.
Ayre, Robert. "Art: Two Exhibitions." Montrealer (Feb. 1937).
Ayre, Robert. "Arts Club Exhibition by Eleven Painters." Gazette (Montreal) 3 Feb. 1937.
Ayre, Robert. "Sarah Robertson." Montreal Star 23 Feb. 1952.
Ayre, Robert. "Significant Exhibition at Toronto by Diligent Canadian Group of Painters 'Bristling With Signs of the Times'." Standard (Toronto) 18 Nov. 1939: M6.
Ayre, Robert. "The Canadian Group of Painters." Canadian Art 6.3 (Spring 1949): 98-102.
Barlow, Margaret. Women Artists. Westport: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 1999.
Bertrand, Magdeleine. Les Femmes artistes du Québec de 1875 à 1925. Montreal: Université de Montréal, 1990.
Birnie, Peter. "Moving Pictures of Women." Vancouver Sun 8 Mar. 1995: C5.
Bradfield, Helen Pepall. Art Gallery of Ontario: The Canadian Collection. Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1970.
Canadian Group of Painters. Canadian Group of Painters, Exhibition 1942. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1942.
Canadian Group of Painters. Canadian Group of Painters, Exhibition 1960. Montreal: 1960.
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Dagg, Anne Innis. "What Happens to Women's Art?" Globe and Mail (Toronto) 4 Aug. 1984.
Daniel, Pierre. "Pochades de Clarence Gagnon au Arts Club." La Presse (Montreal) 6 Feb. 1943.
Davies, Blodwen. "Canadian Women of Brush and Chisel." Chatelaine 3 (Jun. 1930): 9, 42.
De La Lune, Jean. "Sarah Robertson." Le Droit (Ottawa) 6 Nov. 1951.
Doyon, Charles. "La peinture feminine." Le Clairon (Sainte-Hyacinthe) ?.
Duke, David Gordon. "Hard questions raised about Group of Seven." Vancouver Sun 27 Oct. 2003: C7.
Duncan, Ann. "Klinkhoff exhibition honors overlooked Montreal artist." Gazette (Montreal) 23 Sept. 1987: H1.
Duncan, Ann. "Montrealer Robertson deserved a better fate." Gazette (Montreal) 14 Sept. 1991.
Duncan, Ann. "Teaching takes precedence over selling at Klinkhoff show." Gazette (Montreal) 18 Sept. 1993: J5.
Duval, Paul. Canadian Impressionism. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin and Co, 1972.
Duval, Paul. Four Decades: the CGP and their Contemporaries, 1930-70. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1972.
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Ferrari, Pepita & Buffie, Erna. By Woman's Hand. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada, 1994.
Girard, Henri. "Á l'école des beaux-arts." La Revue Moderne (Jul. 1929): 13.
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Girard, Henri. "Le Salon du Printemps." La Revue Moderne (May 1929): 10.
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Kyle, Anne. "Female Painters get Recognition." Leader Post (Regina) 17 Dec. 2005: G2.
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Major, William. "Art Gallery's fourth show features Montreal artist." Leader Post (Regina) 6 Dec. 1952.
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McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Royal Canadian Academy of Arts/Académie royale des arts du Canada: Exhibitions and Members 1880-1979. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.
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Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 02, 1909) "Exposition d'art Canadien. Oeuvres remarquables de MM. Cullen, Rosaire, Boyd, Clapp, Beau, Brymner, St. Charles, Béliveau, Lamarche, Morrice, Paradis, Laliberté."  La Presse (Montreal)  April 10, 1909.  p.25.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 14, 1912) "Art Opening, a Social Event. A Princess Exhibits."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 15, 1912.  p.4.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 14, 1912) "Pictures Shown at Spring Exhibition of the Art Gallery Reach a High Level."  Montreal Star  March 15, 1912.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 14, 1912) "Princess Patricia's Work Shown at Spring Exhibition of the Art Association."  Daily Witness (Montreal)  March 15, 1912.  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 26, 1913) "Spring Exhibition at Art Gallery. Opened for Private View Last Night with Many Meritorious Works. Some Post Impressions."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 26, 1913.  p.13.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 27, 1914) "Variety in Spring Picture Exhibit. Private View Opened 31st Spring Show at Art Gallery Last Night. Works Number Over 400. Sanity, Sincerity and Progress Characterize Majority of Pictures-Various Branches Well Represented."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 27, 1914.  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 26, 1915) "Spring Art Show Has 478 Exhibits. Even Excellence Dominant Note at Art Association Which Opened Last Night. Nothing Very Daring."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 26, 1915.  p.5.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 24, 1916) "Younger Artists Well Represented. Some Leading Exhibitors Are Absent from Thirty-Third Spring Exhibition."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 24, 1916.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 25, 1920) "Artist's Efforts Reach High Level."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 26, 1920.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 18, 1920) "Ouverture de l'exposition de peintures. Nos artistes s'affirment comme de vigoureux et hardis coloristes."  La Presse (Montreal)  November 19, 1920.  p.24.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 18, 1920) "Art of Canadians Well Represented."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 19, 1920.  p.9.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 01, 1921) "Fewer Paintings, Higher Standards. Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of Art Association of Montreal. Private View Last Night."  Gazette (Montreal)  April 01, 1921.  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 01, 1921) "Spring Exhibition at the Art Galleries."  Montreal Herald  April 04, 1921.  p.3.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1922) "Exhibits Drawn From Wide Area. Growing Importance of Spring Art Exhibition More Generally Recognized."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 21, 1922.  p.5.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1922) "Quelques heros de Louis Hemon en sculpture. Maria Chapdelaine, son père et sa mère figurent au Salon des Artistes. Oeuvres de Suzor Cote."  La Presse (Montreal)  March 24, 1922.  p.12.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1922) "Canadian School is Well Represented at the Art Exhibition."  Montreal Herald  March 25, 1922.  p.10.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 16, 1922) "High Standard Set by R.C.A. Pictures. Forty-Fourth Exhibition Opened With Private View Last Night."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 17, 1922.  p.9.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 27, 1924) "Meritorious Work at Spring Exhibit. Mural Paintings in R.C.A. Competition Part of Entries at Art Gallery."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 28, 1924.  p.15.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, April 26, 1925) "Art Association's Spring Exhibition."  Gazette (Montreal)  April 03, 1925.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 19, 1925) "Fine Work Marks R.C.A. Exhibition. New Schools Offer Contrast to Solidly-Based Qualities of Older and Established Painters."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 20, 1925.  p.10.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 26, 1926) "Private View Held at Art Exhibition. Committee of Selection Had to Perform Obviously Difficult Task. Many Omissions Noted."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 29, 1926.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 26, 1926) S. Morgan-Powell.  "Spring Exhibition at Art Galleries Is an Indifferent Show."  Montreal Star  April 07, 1926.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Toronto, November 18, 1926) "The R.C.A."  Canadian Bookman  January 1927.  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Toronto, November 18, 1926) F. H. Brigden.  "The Academy Exhibition."  Royal Architectural Institute of Canada  January 1927.  p.17,19-26.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 24, 1927) "Over 300 Exhibits in Spring Art Show. Forty-fourth Exhibition Opened with Private View Last Night. Will Close April 18. Landscapes and Marines Predominate - Some Prominent Artists and Several of Younger Group Unrepresented."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 25, 1927.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 24, 1927) Albert Laberge.  "Appréciation de quelques toiles du Salon des artistes Canadiens."  La Presse (Montreal)  December 03, 1927.  p.52.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 22, 1928) "Spring Exhibition at Art Galleries. Younger Men and Women Encouraged by Jury of Selection."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 23, 1928.  p.8.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1929) "Spring Exhibition at Art Galleries. Jury Selection Sympathetic to Sincere and Normal Work - Promise Shown by New Exhibitors."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 22, 1929.  p.12.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1929) Henri Girard.  "Le salon du printemps."  La Revue Moderne  May 1929.  p.10.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 17, 1932) "Art Association Has Forty-Ninth Annual Spring Exhibition."  Montreal Star  March 18, 1932.  p.7.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 17, 1932) "Art Association's Spring Exhibition Is 49th of Series. Some Five Hundred Works Greet Invited Guests at Private View."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 18, 1932.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Nearly 500 Works at Spring Exhibit. Variety in Show at Galleries of Art Association of Montreal. 1,080 Items Submitted. Judges Reveal Open Minds and 52nd Annual Contains Much to Meet Differing Tastes."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 22, 1935.  p.3.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 21, 1935) "Spring Exhibition of Art Association Opened on Thursday."  Montreal Star  March 22, 1935.  p.17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 19, 1936) "Annual Spring Exhibition at Art Association."  Montreal Star  March 20, 1936.  p.8.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 19, 1936) "Spring Exhibition on Generous Scale. Show at Art Gallery Opened Last Night Contains 621 Items."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 20, 1936.  p.2.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 18, 1937) "The Spring Exhibition of the Art Association."  Montreal Star  March 19, 1937.  p.17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 18, 1937) "Nearly 500 Works at Spring Exhibit. Art Association's 54th Annual Show Opens with Private Views. Judges Open-Minded."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 19, 1937.  p.13,17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 18, 1937) McInnis, G. Campbell.  "World of Art."  Saturday Night  March 27, 1937.  p.27.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, 1938) "Works in Art Exhibition Are of Unusual Merit. New Policy of Showing More Carefully Selected Pieces Followed by Association."  Montreal Star  March 18, 1938.  p.17.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, 1938) "Art Association's Spring Exhibition. Portrait Studies Especially Good; Fewer Landscapes."  Standard (Montreal)  March 19, 1938.  p.5.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, 1939) Robert Ayre.  "Evolution In Canadian Art Principle Message of Exhibition. 56th In Art Association's History."  Standard (Montreal)  March 18, 1939.  p.20.   Full-text pdf

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