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Artist Database


The database is intended to provide a research tool that brings together the growing body of literature about women artists who worked in Canada and who were born before 1925. It covers women who worked in diverse mediums, ranging from painting and sculpture to photography and textiles. In addition to a brief biographical sketch, each entry comprises a bibliography of writings about the artist and, in cases where women artists have authored works, a separate bibliography of their writings. Locations of artists' files are indicated, as well as their association memberships.


Biography: The biographies provided here include basic information about the life, education, and professional career of each artist.They are not intended to be comprehensive.

Bibliography: For each artist, citations were compiled from the following list of published reference works, databases, and library catalogues. In addition, some bibliographies include citations compiled on an ad hoc basis from supplementary sources, notably the artists' files in our Documentation Centre.


The database currently includes 260 entries, or roughly 1/3 of the artists we have identified for inclusion. New entries are being added regularly. Please contact us if you would like to suggest an entry.


Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
A Dictionary of Canadian Artists. Colin S. MacDonald (Ottawa, 1967-).
Biographical Dictionary of Women Artists in Europe and America since 1850. Penny Dunford, ed. (New York and Toronto, 1990).
By A Lady: Celebrating Three Centuries of Art by Canadian Women. Maria Tippett (Toronto, 1992).
Early Painters and Engravers in Canada. J. Russell Harper (Toronto, 1992).
North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. Jules and Nancy G. Heller (New York, 1995).
Society of Women Artist Exhibitors, 1855-1996: A Dictionary of Artists and Their Works in the Annual Exhibitions of the Society of Women Artists. Charles Baile de Laperrière, ed. (Calne, Wiltshire, 1996).
Bibliographies and Periodical Indexes
Art and Architecture in Canada: A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature to 1981. Loren R. Lerner (Toronto, 1991).
Biographical Index of Artists in Canada. Evelyn McMann (Toronto, 2003).
Canadian Art and Architecture: An Annotated Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations. Diane E. Peters. (Lanham, Md., 2003).
Canadian Periodical Index. Canadian Library Association (Ottawa, 1920-2002).
Concordia University Art Index to Nineteenth-Century Canadian Periodicals. Hardy George (Montreal, 1981).
Index to Nineteenth-Century American Art Periodicals. Mary Morris Schmidt (Madison, Conn., c.1999).
Répertoire d'art et d'archéologie. Bibliothèque d'art et d'archéologie (Paris, 1910-89).
RILA: Répertoire international de la littérature de l'art / International Repertory of the Literature of Art. College Art Association of America (Williamstown, Mass., 1975-89).
Women Artists: An Historical, Contemporary, and Feminist Bibliography. Sherry Piland (Metuchen, N.J., 1994).
Women Artists and Designers in Europe Since 1800: An Annotated Bibliography. Penny McCracken (New York and London, 1998).

Electronic Sources

Academic Search Premier (1975 -)
America: History and Life/Historical Abstracts (1964 - )
Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts (1995 - )
Art Full-text (1984 -)
Art Index Retrospective (1929 - 1984)
ARTbibliographies Modern (1974 - )
Canadian Newsstand (1977 - )
CBCA Complete (1982 - )
CPI-Q (Canadian Periodical Index) (1980 -)
DAAI: Design and Applied Arts Index (1987 -)
Eureka - Quebec newspapers (dates vary)
Francis - includes BHA: Bibliography of the History of Art (1984 -)
Globe and Mail Canada's Heritage from 1844
Historical Abstracts (1955 -)
JSTOR (dates vary)
New York Times Historical (1855 - )
Proquest Dissertations and Theses Full-text (1861 -)
Repère (1980 -)
Times Digital Archive (1785 - 1985)
Online Resources
Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Early Canadiana Online
National Gallery of Canada online catalogue
National Library of Canada online catalogue
WorldCat union catalogue

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