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GAGE, Frances Marie

Windsor, Ontario, 1924
Cobourg, Ontario, 2017
Biography synopsis
Working in a variety of media (wood, plastic, terracotta, plaster and cast stone) and deploying various techniques (carving, modeling, commercial bas-relief, garden sculpture and portraiture), Frances Gage was one of Canada's most prolific sculptors. After studying at Oshawa Collegiate and Vocational Institute (1943), the Ontario College of Art in Toronto (1951), and the Art Students' League in New York (1953-55), she received a scholarship from the Royal Society of Canada to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she remained for two years. Her numerous commissions include a twice-life-sized sculpture and four walnut relief panels for Fanshaw College in London, Ontario (1962), a portrait relief of Dr. Bertram Collip for the University of Western Ontario (1963), crests for the Metro bridges in Toronto, a fountain for the rose garden of Mrs. F.S. Albright of London, Ontario, "Woman," a marble sculpture for the Women's College Hospital in Toronto, and many others. A member of the Council of the Royal Canadian Academy, and teacher at the Artists' Workshop in Toronto, her other accomplishments include the Rothman purchase award (1965) and the development, with the help of her engineer father, of a new durable material called epoxy-resin. Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions, perhaps most notably at the International Congress of Medallic Arts in Florence, Italy (1984), but also in Colorado City, Colorado (1987), Helsinki, Finland (1990), and London, England (1992).
Media used
Oshawa Collegiate and Technical Institute, ? - 1943
Ontario College of Art & Design (formerly Ontario School of Art), ? - 1951 (under Emanuel Hahn)
Art Students' League, New York, 1953 - 1955 (under William Zorach)
École des Beaux-Arts, Paris
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
London Public Library, ON
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
University of Calgary Library, AB
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Hamilton Public Library, ON - Local History and Archives Department
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC

Writings about
"Briefly Pauline McGibbon Unveils Sculptures." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 7 May 1980: 17
"The Arts in Brief: New Sculpture for Guelph." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 16 Oct. 1990: C5
American Federation of the Arts. Who's Who in American Art, 1982. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1982
American Federation of the Arts. Who's Who in American Art, 1991-92. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1991
Amos, Robert. "At the galleries." Times-Colonist (Victoria) 22 Apr. 1999: B5
Art Gallery of Northumberland. Frances Gage, Sculptor: A Retrospective, 1948-1996. Coburg: Art Gallery of Northumberland, 1997
Butcher, Alan. Unlikely Paradise: The Life of Frances Gage. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2009
Cameron, Janice, et al. Eclectic Eve. Toronto: Ontario College of Art and Design, 1974
Cherry, Zena. "A Chance to Say Ciao Before Return to Rome." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 8 Aug. 1980: 11
Fleming, Barbara. "Barbara Howard's Ecologies." Canadian Art 23.2 (Summer 2006): 68-72
Galerie Dresdnere. Frances Gage: Recent Sculpture. Toronto: Galerie Dresdnere, 1972
Heller, Jules and Nancy. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 1995.
Kaptainis, Arthur. "The Importance of Being Canada's Ernest." Windsor Star 14 Jan. 1995: F3
Kritzwiser, Kay. "COC Wig-Making Course is Making Headway." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 29 Jun. 1989: C9
Kritzwiser, Kay. "Keeping the Pioneer Spirit Alive." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 6 Jan. 1979: 37
Littler, William. "Iseheler-Mahler Symphony of a Thousand Bronzed." Toronto Star 13 Feb. 1990: B1
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.
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
Nasby, Judith M. University of Guelph Art Collection: A Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture. Guelph: University of Guelph, 1980
Prakash, A. K. Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women's Art Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books, 2008
Simpson, Kieran, ed. Canadian Who's Who, 1992. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1992
Wolff, Hennie. Index of Ontario Artists. Toronto: Visual Arts of Ontario, Ontario Association of Art Galleries, 1978

Writings by
Gage, Frances. Modelling as a Sculptural Medium. Toronto: Sports and Recreation Bureau, 1974
Gage, Frances. Wood Sculpture. Toronto: Sports and Recreation Bureau, 1974
Gage, Frances. "Kay Kritzwiser: Obituary." Globe and Mail (Toronto) Toronto: 21 Dec. 2005: S7
Gage, Frances, Catherine Ignatieff and Cathy Perry. Casting as a Sculptural Medium. Toronto: Sports and Recreation Bureau, 1974

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