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ADAMSON, Mrs. Agar (Mabel Cawthra)

Born
Lucerne, Switzerland, 1871
Died
Port Credit, Ontario, 1943
Biography synopsis
As a young woman Mabel Cawthra Adamson studied at Charles Ashbee's Guild of Handicrafts in England. Cawthra's practice included painting, interior design as well as the applied arts and crafts, enamel and metal. In 1899 she married Agar Adamson, Colonel of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. In 1902 Mabel Cawthra became the first president of the Society of Arts and Crafts of Canada, founder of the Arts and Crafts Society in Toronto, and a founding member of the Heliconian Club. she was an avid potter and was made an honorary member of the Canadian Guild of Potters in 1943. Among her numerous activities, Cawthra was also responsible for opening a Toronto franchise of the English interior design firm W & E Thornton-Smith Company, which sold high-end furniture, fabrics, rugs and curtains She also won a number of commissions to decorate Toronto city theatres and churches.
Media used
Enamel and Enamelling
Jewellery making
Painting
Pottery
Education
Charles Ashbee’s Guild of Handicraft, England, 1905 - ?
File & Archive locations
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
"Canada." American Art News 5.31 (15 June 1907): 6.
"General Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, December 28-31, 1908 - Canadian Members." American Journal of Archaeology 13.1 (Jan-Mar 1909): 68.
"Portrait of Miss Mabel Cawthra by E. Wyly Grier." American Art News 5.8 (08 Dec. 1906): 1, 6.
"Toronto." American Art News 14.16 (22 Jan. 1916): 9.
Boyanoski, Christine. Artists, Architects, & Artisans at Home Artists, Architects, & Artisans: Canadian art 1890-1918, Edited by Charles Hill Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2013.
Butlin, Susan. A New Matrix of the Arts: A History of the Professionalization of Canadian Women Artists, 1880-1914. Ottawa, Ontario: Carleton University, 2008.
Butlin, Susan. The Practice of her Profession: Florence Carlyle, Canadian Painter in the Age of Impressionism. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009.
Crawford, Gail. A Fine Line: Studio Crafts in Ontario from 1930 to the Present. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1998.
Ferenc, Leslie. "Roar Back to '20s at Scenic Estate." Toronto Star 09 Sep. 1993: MS12.
Harper, J. Russell. Early Painters and Engravers in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970.
McLeod, Ellen Mary Easton. In Good Hands: The Women of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1999.
Morgon, Henry James. Canadian Men and Women of the Time. 2nd ed. Toronto, Ontario: Briggs, 1912.
Pringle, G.. "Mrs. Agar Adamson: Versatile Canadian Artist Who has done Much for Art in Toronto." Saturday Night 40 (1925): 25.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Ontario Society of Artists Annual Exhibition: (Toronto, May 25, 1892) Chad.  "Art and Artists."  Toronto Saturday Night  January 30, 1892.  p.6.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, March 1893) "The Canadian Academy."  Daily Witness (Montreal)  March 03, 1893.  p.3.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition.: (Toronto, May 1905) "The Royal Canadian Academy."  Saturday Night  May 20, 1905.  p.15.   Full-text pdf

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