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MILNE, Eleanor (Rose)

Saint John, New Brunswick, 1925
Ottawa, Ontario, 2014
Biography synopsis
Eleanor Milne was born in 1925 in Saint John, New Brunswick, to Mr. & Mrs. W. Harold Milne, a marine architect and general superintendent of Saint John Dry Dock. She showed a great interest in art at a young age, experimenting with drawing, painting, woodcuts, and bas-relief wood carvings. Following her passion for the arts, Milne attended the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts where she studied with Gordon Webber, Jacques de Tonnancour and Arthur Lismer, receiving her diploma in 1945. Following this, in 1946, she enrolled at McGill University's Medical School to study anatomy. Milne continued her education in art at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where she studied engraving and book illustration under John Farliegh. Returning to Montreal in 1946 Milne enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where she worked with renowned sculptor Sylvia Daoust until 1948. Milne continued to develop her skills as a sculptor by working as an apprentice with Ivan Mestrovic. It was during her apprenticeship that she developed her interest in traditional styles of sculpture, particularly Medieval Gothic. Between 1959 and 1960 Milne worked on a mural commission at the Mews Cottage in London. Shortly following, in 1962, Milne was appointed the National Stone Carver of Canada, the fifth person appointed to this position and the first woman. Milne held the position of Dominion Sculptor on Parliament Hill until 1993. During this time she completed carvings on the ceiling of the House of Commons, twelve stained-glass windows in the Chambers of the House of Commons depicting the ten provinces and two territories, and a 120 ft long bas-relief sculpture depicting the history of Canada.
Media used
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, School of Art and Design, ? - 1945 (under Gordon Webber, Jacques de Tonnancour and Arthur Lismer)
Central School of Arts and Crafts, London (under John Farleigh)
Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal (under Sylvia Daoust)
McGill University, 1946 - ?
File & Archive locations
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
London Public Library, ON
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Hamilton Public Library, ON - Local History and Archives Department
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC

Writings about
Exhibition of Sculpture, Wood Carvings, Paintings, and Drawing by Eleanor Milne Saint John, New Brunswick: New Brunswick Museum, 1959.
"Canada Appoints Woman Sculptor." New York Times 01 Apr. 1962.
"Captured in Stone: Carving Canada's Past." Canada's History 83.4 (Aug/Sept 2003): 48.
"Grande Artiste A Deux Pas D'Ottawa." Le Droit (Ottawa) 29 May, 1958.
"Milne works to go on sale." Ottawa Citizen 14 Nov. 2005.
"Nation's History Hewn in Stone." Winnipeg Tribune 21 Jun. 1975.
"National Stone Carver Does Her Work on Night Shift." Peterborough Examiner (Ontario) 10 Aug. 1971.
"Opened At N.B. Museum." St. John Telegraph-Journal (New Brunswick) 17 Sept. 1959.
"Rose Eleanor Milne" Ottawa Citizen 06 Jun. to 07 Jun. 2014.
"Sculptor Plans Showing in City." Saint John Evening Times Globe 29 Aug. 1959.
"The Arts." Time Magazine (Montreal) 06 Apr. 1962.
"Trois quarts de siècle après l'incendie, le parlement fédéral est presque achevé." La Presse (Montreal) 22 aout 1990: B4.
"Unique Carvings Exhibit Opened At N.B. Museum." St. John Evening Times Globe (New Brunswick) 16 Sept. 1956.
"Woman, 36, Appointed Official Canadian Sculptor." Globe & Mail (Toronto) 13 Mar. 1962.
"Work of Quebec Sculptor in Exhibit of Religious Art." Ottawa Journal 10 Jun. 1954.
Alfoldy, Sandara. The Making of an Artist in Canada: R. Eleanore Milne Montreal, Quebec: Concordia University, 1998
Angus, Janet. "Meeting With Prince Philip Would Help Work Of Canada's 'National Sculptor.'" Montreal Star 02 Jun. 1962.
Arnold, Gerry. "CARVING: It's been a labour of love, albeit, a dusty one, for the past 30 years. But the task of sculpting Canada's history on the walls of Parliament's Centre Block is near completion." Globe & Mail (Toronto) 18 Aug. 1990: C4.
Bartlett, Doug. "Chips off the Old Block - Reveal a Record of Canadian History." Ottawa Citizen 10 Jul. 1971.
Blakely, Edna. "Eleanor First Woman to be Canada's Official Sculptor." Tribune (Ottawa) 29 Mar. 1962.
C.W.. "Woman Planning To Simplify Future Carvings On The Hill." Ottawa Citizen 15 Mar. 1962.
Carver, Andrew. "Carving a Legacy on Parliament Hill." Hill Times 15 Apr. 1993: 11-14.
Coulon, Jacques. "Canada's Official Sculptor." En route 2.4 (1974): 10-11.
Cox, Sarah. "Order of Canada: Eleanor Milne, Sculptor." Ottawa Citizen 10 Apr. 1989.
Cross, L. D.. "Official Canadian Sculptor, Eleanor Milne." Fifty-Five Plus 6.5 (1993): 15-18.
Desson, Kenneth Montrose. The Canadian Parliamentary Stone Carvers: a Study in the Bureaucratization of Art Ottawa, Ontario: Institute of Canadian Studies, Carelton University, 1980.
Dugas, Gail. "Master Sculptor: Our History Comes to Life at the Hands of Eleanor Milne." Canadian Geographic (Jan/Feb 1992): 68-77.
Eve, Doni. "Dominion Sculptress: The Only One in the World." Hill Times 29 Mar. 1990: 7.
Fetherling, Doug. "Light and Shadow in the Hill." Imperial Oil Review 63.2 (1979): 2-7.
Fidler, Vera. "Canada's Story in Stone." Canadian Geographic Journal 81.1 (1970): 2-9.
Gaze, Delia. Dictionary of Women Artists London, England: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997.
Gessell, Paul. "Book Will Bring Treasure to Canadians." Ottawa Citizen 05 July 1995: A2.
Gihooly, Ursula. "Unique Post for Ottawa Sculptress." Ottawa Journal 17 Mar. 1962.
Gillespie, Ian. "Woman Sculptor Honoured." Ottawa Citizen 15 Jun. 1987.
Harrison, Phyllis. "Miss Milne carves history while Parliament sleeps." Ottawa Citizen 25 Mar. 1964.
Hart, Susan. Sculpting a Canadian Hero: Shifting Concepts of National Identity in Ottawa's Core Area Commemorations." Montreal, Quebec: Concordia University, 2008.
Heller, Jules and Nancy. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 1995.
Irving, Kit. "Story in Stone: Her Art Traces History on Parliament Hill." Ottawa Journal 16 Nov. 1974.
Kampfmuller, Helen. "Artists Revive Dying Art." Centretown News (Ottawa) 11 Mar. 1979.
Knowles, Valerie. "Ottawa Artist (14) - Insists on Being Understood." Ottawa Journal 09 Jan. 1971.
Lambert, Barbara. "Stone Carving in Gothic Style, Parliament Buildings." Ottawa Citizen 08 Oct. 1968.
Lambert, Bernard. "Exposition d'art religieux; oeuvres de Rucky, Py et Milne." Le Droit (Ottawa) 10 Jun. 1954.
Lerner, Loren R. and Mary F. Williamson. Art and Architecture in Canada: A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature to 1981 Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991.
Lindsay, Wendy. "Canadian Heritage Carved in Stone." Hands: Canadian Craft and Creative Projects 7.1 (Summer Preview 1987): 8-9, 14.
MacCartney, Allen D.. "Northern Coloured Lights on Parliament Hill." Beaver (Spring 1985).
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.
Mazey, Steven. "Sculptor Has Left Marl All Over Parliament Hill." Ottawa Citizen 20 Jun. 1987.
McMartin, Pete. "Artist for the People: Dominion's Sculptor, who loved to play poker in the basement of Parliament, believes in Power of Art, Not Politics." Edmonton Journal 09 May, 1993: C4.
McMartin, Pete. "Sculptor Depicts Everyday People as the True Heroes of our Country." Vancouver Sun 05 May, 1993: A9.
McMartin, Pete. "The Dominion's Sculptor." Ottawa Citizen 02 May 1993.
Nesdoly, Tracy. "Capturing Canada's History in Stone." Situation 83 Public Works Canada (Nov. 1983).
Pareek, Niketh. "Parliament's Stone Carver Tells Her Story: Eleanor Milne worked for 12 years on the night shift to carve History of Canada Series." The Hill Times 15 Sept., 2003: 17, 23.
Parliament of Canada. "Architectural Sculpture." The House of Commons Heritage Collection 2011
Parliament of Canada. "Stained Glass Windows." The House of Commons Heritage Collection 2001
Pistolesi, Donald. "The Museum's Art School A Century of Teaching Art: A Sketch." Collage (Fall 1997): 14-16.
Prakash, A. K. Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women's Art. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books, 2008.
Rainville, Pierre. "Nos Interviews - Eleanor Milne - Sculpteur canadien." Le Droit (Ottawa) 10 Jun. 1954.
Rose, Peter. "Art - Giving History a Hand." Montreal Star 26 Feb. 1972.
Scott, Munroe. The Carving of Canada: A Tale of Parliamentary Gothic Manotick, Ontario: Penumbra Press, 1999.
Stein, Otto. "Eleanor Milne: Ready for Anything Official Sculptor of the House of Commons." Windsor Star (Ontario) 18 Feb. 1977.
Tiffin, Ethel. "Creative Family - Woman Sculptor Advises Students To Avoid Haste." Montreal Star 17 May, 1958.
Tiwari, Deborah. "Canada Remembers Stone Carving Nears Completion." Ensemble 3.5 (1995): 15.
Turcotte, Claude. "L'AANB sculptée dans la non coulée dans le béton." Le Devoir (Montreal) 18 août 1980.
Turcotte, Eileen. "Talent that Brought Spanking to Eleanor Milne as a Child Bringing Her Fame as a Sculptor." Ottawa Journal 15 Jun. 1957.
Verreault, Jacques. "Les artistes-functionnaires du government fédéral." Le Droit (Ottawa) 21 Dec. 1974.
Ward, Bruce. "Immortalized in Stone." Ottawa Citizen 02 Jan. 2009: D1.
Way, Frederick. "She Carves Our History." Star Weekly (Toronto) 29 May, 1965: 32-34.
Weiselberger, Carl. "Woman Planning to Simplify Future Carvings on the Hill." Ottawa Citizen 15 Mar. 1962.
Whitelaw, Paul. "Government-Employed Sculptors - That's Nothing New." Calgary Albertan 16 Jan. 1979.

Writings by
Lambert, Barbara, R. Eleanor Milne, and Eleanor Moore. Captured in Stone: Carving Canada's Past Manotick, Ontario: Penumbra Press, 2002.
Milne, Eleanor. "Phoenix on the Hill." Canadian Geographic 106.4 (Aug 1986): 44-51.

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