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BEALS, Helen D.

Canso, Nova Scotia, 1897
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, 1991
Biography synopsis
After obtaining a bachelors degree from Acadia University in 1919 and a certificate in Library Sciences at Simmons College, Boston in 1920, Beals studied at the Scott Carbee School of Art in Boston. She returned to Wolfville, N.S. in 1926 where she worked as assistant librarian at Acadia University at the same time she was assistant to Walter Abell in the Department of Art. Beals held the position of Head of the Department of Art at Acadia University from 1945 to 1963. During her time at Acadia University, Beals was a founding member of the Maritime Art Association (1935) and played an integral role in its development. She was also involved in the publication "Maritime Art Magazine"(1940), Canada’s first art periodical. Beals was a member of the Nova Scotia Society of Artists as well as the Minas Potters Guild; in addition to showing her work with these groups she also exhibited at the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour Annual Exhibition in 1944 and 1945. Beals worked in watercolour, oil and acrylic paint as well as pottery.
Media used
Scott Carbee School of Art, Boston
Acadia University, 1919 - ?
Simmons College, Boston, 1921 - ?
University of Toronto, 1944 - 1945
Nova Scotia Society of Artists
Maritime Art Association
Minas Potters Guild
File & Archive locations
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
London Public Library, ON
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Toronto Reference Library, ON

Writings about
Brayley, Katharine. A Regional Agency: Maritime Art Association Programming 1935-1945. Montreal, Quebec: Concordia University, 2010.
Hashey, Mary W., ed. Maritime Artists Vol. 1. Fredericton: Maritime Art Association, 1967.
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.
Niergarth, Kirk. Art and Democracy: New Brunswick Artists and Canadian Culture between the Great Depression and the Cold War. Saint John, New Brunswick: University of New Brunswick, 2007.
Niergarth, Kirk. "Missionary for Culture": Walter Abell, "Maritime Art" and Cultural Democracy, 1928-1944." Acadiensis 36.1 (Autumn 2006): 3-28.
Paikowsky, Sandra. Nova Scotian Pictures: Art in Nova Scotia, 1940-1966. Halifax: Dalhousie University Art Gallery, 1994.
Prakash, A. K. Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women's Art. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books, 2008.
Robson, Scott. Nova Scotia Women Artists in the Collection of Tony Saulnier. Halifax: Dalhousie University Art Gallery, 1993.

Writings by
Beals, Helen. Helen Beals: Watercolours. Wolfville, Nova Scotia: Acadia University Art Gallery, 1982.
Beals, Helen D.. Coast to Coast in Art - Maritime Provinces - Fredericton Maritime Art 3.2 (Dec.-Jan. 1942-43).
Beals, Helen D., Eric R. Dennis, Mary Kinley Ingraham. Catalogue of the Eric R. Dennis Collection of Canadiana in the Library of Acadia University. Wolfville, Nova Scotia: Acadia University, 1938.
Wright, Esther Clark & Helen D. Beals (illustrator). Blomidon Rose: The Story of the Blomidon Countryside, Its People, History and Way of Life. Toronto, Ontario: Ryerson Press, 1957.

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