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MACPHERSON, Margaret Campbell

St. John's, Newfoundland, 1860
Versailles, France, 1931
Biography synopsis
Margaret Campbell Macpherson received her first lessons at the local Wesleyan School from JW Nichols, who recommended that she continue her education in Scotland where art training was available. She continued studies under Auguste-Henri Berthoud in Neuchâtel, and established her professional stature with acceptance to a Dudley Gallery, London exhibition in 1884 before opening her portrait and landscape studio in Edinburgh. By the time she was elected to the newly formed Society of Scottish Artists in 1891, she was already continuing her studies in Paris at the Academy headed by Pascal Dagnan Bouveret and Gustave Courtois and spending the summers in Brittany where her paintings suggest association with the circle around Gauguin. After exhibiting regularly in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and St John´s, she received extensive press coverage for her two-woman exhibition in Edinburgh in 1895 with Josephine Hoxie Bartlett. In 1899 Macpherson brought seventy paintings for exhibition in St John´s and Halifax before she and Bartlett moved permanently to Paris. During her career, Macpherson had works accepted in over two dozen Paris Salons, more than any other Canadian artist. Her paintings were accepted at the Royal Scottish Academy, Glasgow Institute of Fine Art Society of Scottish Artists, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Royal Academy, London, Société des Artistes Français. She received a medal for paintings in the Canadian Section of the Exposition universelle in 1900, the only British North American woman so honoured. She also exhibited at the International Exposition, Edinburgh, in 1886, Exposition universelle, Paris, in 1900 (bronze medal), Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, in 1901, Exposition nationale, Reims, in 1903 (gold medal), Exposition internationale, Nantes, in 1904 (gold medal), and Carnegie International exhibition, Pittsburgh, in 1913. Her paintings were included regularly in group exhibitions in St John´s between 1884 and 1972.
Media used
Society of Scottish Arists, 1891
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, NL
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC

Writings about
"Canadian Artists in Paris." Saturday Night 21.9 (14 Dec. 1907): 5.
"Ladies Art Exhibition at Aitken Dott's Gallery." Evening Dispatch (Edinburgh) 25 Feb. 1895.
"Miss Macpherson's Exhibition I, II, and III." Daily News (St. John's) 16, 18, 20 Dec. 1899.
"Miss Margaret Campbell Macpherson." Daily News (St. John's) 18 May 1931: 5.
Allaire, Sylvain. Les Artistes Canadiens aux Salons de Paris, de 1870 à 1914. Montreal: Université de Montréal, 1985.
Ayre, Agnes M. "Current Events Club, Woman Sufferage, Newfoundland Society of Art." The Book of Newfoundland. St. John's: 1937.
Baille de LaPierre, Charles. The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990. A Dictionary of Artists and their work in the annual exhibitions of the Royal Academy. Calne: Hilmarton Manor Press, 1991.
Bell, Peter. "Painters of Newfoundland." Canadian Antiques Collector 10.6 (14 Jan. 1975): 1-7.
Benezit, Emmanuel. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. Paris: Librairie Grund, 1976.
Bernard, Charles. "Le Canada à l'exposition." Paris-Canada (1 Dec. 1900): 1-2.
Billcliffe, Roger. The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1989. A Dictonary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. Glasgow: Woodend Press, 1990.
Burbidge, R. Brinsley. A Dictionary of British Flower, Fruit, and Still Life Painters. vol. 2 1850-1950. Leigh-on-Sea: F. Lewis, 1974.
Cameron, Nancy Jean. Letter to Margaret Macpherson telling family plans to leave the Mohawk Valley and settle at Glengarry in Upper Canada. 1785.
Campbell, Julian. Peintres britanniques en Bretagne. Pont-Aven: Musee de Pont-Aven, 2004.
Crespon-Halotier, Beatrice. Les Peintres dans les Salons Parisens des origins a 1939. Dijon: L'Echelle de Jacob, 2002.
Curinier, C. E. Dictionnaire National des Contemporains, 5 vol. Paris: Office general d'edition de librairie et d'imprimerie, 1899-1906.
Fink, Lois Marie. American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Francoise. "Lettre de Francoise." La Patrie (Montreal) (13 Aug. 1900): 1-3, 5.
Graves, Algernon. A Dictionary of Artists Who Have Exhibited Works in the Principal London Exhibitions from 1760-1893. New York: Lennox Hill, 1970.
Graves, Algernon. The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and Their Works from its Foundations in 1769 to 1904. London: Henry Graves & Co. and George Bell & Sons, 1905.
Harper, J. Russell. Painting in Canada: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966, 2nd edition 1977.
Harris, Paul and Julian Halsby. Dictionary of Scottish Painters 1600-1960. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd, 2001.
Jarman, Angela ed. "Royal Academy of Arts." Royal Academy Exhibitors 1905- 1920, Volume 3. Wiltshire: Hilmarton Manor Press, 1985.
Johnson, Jane. Works Exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists 1824-1893 and the New English Art Club 1888-1917. Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors' Club, 1975, reprint 1987.
Johnson, Jane and A. Greutzer. Dictionary of British Artists, 1880-1940. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1976.
Leonard, John William, ed. Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915. New York: Marquis Who's Who, 1914.
Macpherson, Alan. "Margaret Campbell Macpherson: Newfoundland Artist." Creag Dhubh 55 (Spring 2003): 28-29.
Madison, O. "Artist Margaret Campbell MacPherson b. St. John's NF." GenForum- 2003.
Martin, Jules. Nos peintres et sculpteurs, graveurs, dessinateurs. Paris: Flammarion, 1897.
Melville, Jennifer. Aberdeen Artists Society Exhibitors. Unpublished index. ?.
O'Neill, Mora Dianne. Choosing Their Own Path: Canadian Women Impressionists. Halifax: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2001.
O'Neill, Mora Dianne and Caroline Stone. Two Artists Time Forgot: Frances Jones (Bannerman) and Margaret Campbell Macpherson. Halifax: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2006.
Paviere, Sydney H. A Dictionary of Flower, Fruit, and Still Life Painters, vol III. Leigh-on-Sea: F. Lewis Publishing, 1964.
Petteys, Chris, et al. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
Smulders, Marilyn. "Rare Glimpse: For the First Time, Halifax gets to View the Impressionists, and Security will be Heavy." Daily News (Halifax) 2 Oct. 2001: 23.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition.: (Montreal, April 20, 1887) "Among the Pictures. The Annual Spring Exhibition of the R.C.A."  Gazette (Montreal)  April 20, 1887.  p.8.   Full-text pdf

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