Toronto art students' league


An important Canadian artists??? association, founded in 1886 and folded in 1904, the Toronto Art Students' League began as a sketch club where members could draw from a live model. It later conducted regular outdoor sketching excursions and became not only a school but a setting where members met to draw, discuss, comment on each other's work and create projects together. It also held exhibitions and published its members illustrations in popular calendars. Its core philosophy of promoting distinctly Canadian subjects gave birth to several successors including the Mahlstick Club, the Canadian Art Club, the Graphic Arts Club (later the Canadian Society of Graphic Art) and ultimately the Group of Seven. The League???s founders and charter members included Alfred Harold Howard, Robert Holmes, Charles MacDonald Manly and John David Kelly. Subsequent members included Frederick H. Brigden, C.W. Jefferys, Gertrude Spurr Cutts, Henrietta Hancock, J.E.H. Macdonald and Edmund Morris. Sources: ???Canadian Art - Its Origin and Development??? (1943), by William Colgate; ???The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation??? (1995), by Charles C. Hill; and ???A Concise History of Canadian Painting??? (1973), by Dennis Reid (see AskART book references). Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.