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ROBERTSON, Helen Waimel

Tartu, Estonia, 1917
Chippewa, Ontario, 2002
Biography synopsis
Helen Waimel Robertson immigrated to Canada with her family in 1925, settling in Kitchener, Ontario. In 1934 Robertson received a scholarship from the Kiwanis Club of Kitchener to attend the Ontario College of Art to pursue her interest in sculpture; she studied under Emanuel Hahn. On graduating in 1936 she received the Governor Generals Gold Medal for her work. An acclaimed sculptor, Robertson created works in stone, concrete, bronze, aluminum, copper, iron and wood. In 1954 she became a member of the Sculptors’ Society of Canada. Throughout her career she was commissioned by the Canadian government to do a number of important public projects including 12 Canadian Coats of Arms and all 10 provincial coats of arms. Helen Waimel Robertson eventually settled in Chippewa, Ontario, with her husband and lived there until her death.
Media used
Ontario College of Art & Design (formerly Ontario School of Art), 1934 - 1936 (under Emanuel Hahn)
Sculptors' Society of Canada, 1954
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC

Writings about
"Bullas Sculptures Find New Home at Centre in the Square." Exchange Magazine [Kitchener] 03 Mar. 2011
"Coat of Arms for Building Research Centre, Ottawa." Journal Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 32 (Jan. 1955): 3.
"Helen Robertson: Obituary." Obitsforlife 2002
"Helen Waimel Robertson." Arts & Culture Wall of Fame Inductees 2006-2010 Niagara Falls, Ontario: The City of Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Committee, 2010
"Sculptured Memorial: Robertson Creates Memorial to the Late Hilda Danks." Niagara Falls Review 08 Dec. 1972.
"The Bullas Sculptures: Helen Waimel Robertson." Kitchener Public Art Collection 2010
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.
Prakash, A. K. Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women's Art. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books, 2008.
Reynolds, Nancy. "World Class Artist Resident in Chippewa: Helen Robertson Believes in 'Giving.'" Niagara Falls Review 17 Oct. 1986.

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