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COOMBS, Edith Grace

Born
Hamilton, Ontario, 1890
Died
St. Catharines, Ontario, 1986
Biography synopsis
Edith Grace Lawson (née Coombs) was born in Hamilton, and her family moved to St. Catharines. She also lived in Gananoque and later Fort William. She studied at the Ontario College of Art, 1913-1918, and at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1929. She taught art at Edgehill College, Windsor, Nova Scotia for one year (c.1918); Havergal College, Toronto for three years (1919-1921); and at the Ontario College of Art, (1921-1956). She was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists (1928); the Canadian Society of Graphic Art; the Federation of Canadian Artists; the Ontario College of Art Alumni Association; Victoria University Faculty Women’s Association; the Three Arts Club (New York); the Heliconian Club; and the Lyceum Women’s Art Association. She painted many images of flowers, most done at her summer home near Parry Sound. She also painted landscapes, figure studies, and abstract work. She painted two murals based on Wyandotte creation myths – now owned by the Museum of Civilization. She designed the stained glass windows for Chalmers United Church in Guelph, Ontario, and she illustrated several books, including "The Rambles of a Canadian Naturalist" by T.S. Woods and "The Brave Little People" by Dorothy Campbell. Coombs exhibited with the Ontario Society of Artists, at the National Gallery, the Canadian National Exhibition, with the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, the Montreal Art Association, and many other smaller exhibitions. Her work is owned by the Art Gallery of Hamilton (45 works), the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Macdonald-Stewart Art Centre, and the University of Guelph.
Media used
Drawing
Mural painting and decoration
Painting
Printmaking
Watercolour
Education
Ontario College of Art & Design (formerly Ontario School of Art), 1913 - 1918 (under George Reid; J.E.H. McDonald)
New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, 1929
Memberships
Ontario Society of Artists, 1928
Canadian Society of Graphic Art
Federation of Canadian Artists
Ontario College of Art Alumni Association
Victoria University Faculty Women's Association
Three Arts Club (New York)
Heliconian Club
Lyceum Women's Art Association
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
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Frick Art Reference Library, NY
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
"E. Grace Coombs discusses..." Guardian (Guelph) 13 Nov. 1964.
"E. Grace Coombs' Work To be Shown in Guelph." Daily Mercury (Guelph) 14 May 1954.
"Edith Lawson Dies, Was Noted Artist." Guelph Mercury (Ontario) 24 Nov. 1986.
"Excellent Art Exhibition Given by Grace Coombs." Guelph Mercury 17 May 1954.
"LAWSON, Edith Grace Coombs" Globe and Mail (Toronto) 24 Nov. 1986.
"Master's Gallery." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 19 Nov. 1966.
"Sale and Exhibit: Painting: Grace Coombs, O.S.A." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 13 May 1946.
"Three Projects During 1960 Net $4,000 For Art Gallery." Hamilton Spectator 9 May, 1961.
Art Gallery of Toronto. Catalogue of Paintings and Prints by Dame Laura Knight. Paintings and Water Colours by Sigurd Skou, Annual Exhibitions of Canadian Society of Graphic Art, Society of Painter-Etchers, and Toronto Camer Toronto: Art Gallery of Toronto, 1931.
Bell, Graydon. "Exhibition." Varsity (Toronto) 27 Oct. 1950.
Bull, William Perkins. The Perkins Bull Collection: Historical Paintings by Canadian Artists Illustrating Pioneers and Pioneering in the County of Peel. Brampton, Ontario: Printed privately, 1934.
Forrest, A. C. "Cover Story." United Church Observer 15 Mar. 1961.
Forrest, A. C. "Russia and Her People." The United Church Observer 1 Jun. 1962.
MacCuaig, Stuart. Climbing the Cold White Peaks: A Survey of Artists in and from Hamilton 1910-1950. Hamilton: Hamilton Artists Inc, 1986.
MacDonald, Colin S. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009
http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/bd-dl/aac-aic-eng.jsp?emu=en.aich:/Proxapp/ws/aich/user/wwwe/SearchForm.
Nasby, Judith M. University of Guelph Art Collection: A Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture. Guelph: University of Guelph, 1980.
Ontario Society of Artists. Catalogue of the Fifty-Second Annual Exhibition of the Ontario Society of Artists, 1924. Toronto: Ontario Society of Artists, 1924.
Pierce, Lorne. E. Grace Coombs, Artist. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1949.
Ritchie, David F. Edith Grace Coombs. Toronto: Toronto Heliconian Club, 1985..
Robson, Albert Henry. Canadian Landscape Painters. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1932.
Smith, Frances K. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University Permanent Collection. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1968.
Sotheby and Co. (Canada). Canadian Art At Auction 1968-1975. Toronto: Sotheby and Co, 1975.
The Art Gallery of Toronto. Eleventh Annual Exhibition of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, Canadian Society of Graphic Art, and the Twenty-Second Annual Exhibition Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engrave Toronto, Ontario: The Art Gallery of Toronto, 1938.
Thomas, George. "Fondness For Nature Prompted Art Career." Guelph Daily Mercury 15 Apr. 1964.
Westbridge, Anthony R. The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction. Vancouver: Westbridge Publications, 2001.
Williamson, Bob. "Artist Enjoys Quiet Retirement." Hamilton Spectator 21 Feb. 1968.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
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
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 21, 1929) "R.C.A. Show Opened with Private View. Fifty-first Annual Exhibition Housed in Art Association Galleries."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 22, 1929.  p.18.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 20, 1931) "Art Association 48th Spring Show High In Interest."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 21, 1931.  p.16.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 19, 1931) "Wide Range of Art In R.C.A. Exhibition."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 20, 1931.  p.10.   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
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, November 18, 1937) "Royal Canadian Academy Show is Opened at Art Association. Portraiture Represented by Good Examples and Landscapes as Usual Predominate."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 19, 1937.  p.12.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (, November 16, 1939) "Canadian Academy Opens Sixtieth Exhibition."  Montreal Star  November 17, 1939.  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (, November 16, 1939) "R.C.A. Exhibition Has Private View. Over 300 Works in Galleries of Art Association of Montreal. Standard Maintained."  Gazette (Montreal)  November 17, 1939.  p.5.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 15, 1940) "Art Association Opens 57th Spring Exhibit. Notable Feature of Display Is Unusually Large Proportion Of Portraits or Portrait Studies."  Montreal Star  March 21, 1940.  p.19.   Full-text pdf

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