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COOMBS, Edith Grace

Hamilton, Ontario, 1890
St. Catharines, Ontario, 1986
Biography synopsis
Edith Grace Coombs (nee Lawson) studied at the Ontario College of Art between 1913 to 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 Canadian Museum of History. 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 (forty-five works), the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Macdonald-Stewart Art Centre, and the University of Guelph.
Media used
Mural painting and decoration
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
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

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
Anderson, Janice. Creating Room: Canadian Women Mural Painters and Rereadings of the Public and the Private. Montreal: Concordia University, 2002
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
Haggo, Regina. Forgotten Canadian Artists: Amazing Grace: Edith Grace Coombs 2017
Haggo, Regina. “Amazing Grace.” Hamilton Spectator 8 July 2017, G1-G3
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.
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, ) "Fine Work Marks R.C.A. Exhibition. New Schools Offer Contrast to Solidly-Based Qualities of Older and Established Painters."  Gazette (Montreal)  .  p.10.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "R.C.A. Show Opened with Private View. Fifty-first Annual Exhibition Housed in Art Association Galleries."  Gazette (Montreal)  .  p.18.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "Art Association 48th Spring Show High In Interest."  Gazette (Montreal)  .  p.16.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "Wide Range of Art In R.C.A. Exhibition."  Gazette (Montreal)  .  p.10.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "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)  .  p.3.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "Spring Exhibition of Art Association Opened on Thursday."  Montreal Star  .  p.17.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "Royal Canadian Academy Show is Opened at Art Association. Portraiture Represented by Good Examples and Landscapes as Usual Predominate."  Gazette (Montreal)  .  p.12.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (, ) "R.C.A. Exhibition Has Private View. Over 300 Works in Galleries of Art Association of Montreal. Standard Maintained."  Gazette (Montreal)  .  p.5.   Full-text pdf
Royal Canadian Academy Annual Exhibition: (, ) "Canadian Academy Opens Sixtieth Exhibition."  Montreal Star  .  p.11.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, ) "Art Association Opens 57th Spring Exhibit. Notable Feature of Display Is Unusually Large Proportion Of Portraits or Portrait Studies."  Montreal Star  .  p.19.   Full-text pdf

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