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Walter J. Phillips fonds

1900-1970, predominant 1915-1960

Physical Description:
30.5 cm of textual records. -- 136 photographs

Walter Joseph Phillips, 1884-1963, renowned Canadian painter and woodcut artist, was born in Lincolnshire, England. He studied at the Birmingham School of Art. From 1903 to 1908 he lived in South Africa and worked at a variety of jobs. He returned to England and was art master at Bishop Woodsworth School in Salisbury, 1908-1911. In 1910 he married Gladys Pitcher, 1893-1992, and they had six children, Walter John Herbert, 1912-2008, Margaret Gladys (Wright), 1913-2007, Mary Elsie (Adamson), 1915-2008, Ivan Arthur Conrad, 1916-1945, Lois Edith (Duffin), 1917-2002, and Josephine (Helmer), 1926-2011. In 1913 the family emigrated to Winnipeg. He was art master at St. John's Technical High School, 1913-1924. He produced his first successful colour woodcut in 1917 and wrote The Technique of the Colour Woodcut in 1926. He received several international awards for his art and became a full academician of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1933. He moved to Calgary in 1941 to teach at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He instructed at SAIT until 1949, although he moved to Banff in 1943. He also taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta in 1960, and retired to Victoria the same year.

Custodial History:
The Glenbow Museum Art Department acquired Phillips' archival records, along with his paintings and woodcuts, in the early 1960s. The records were transferred to the Archives in 1977 and in 1985.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of correspondence (including letter from Emily Carr), manuscripts, catalogues, scrapbooks, and reduced published reproductions of Phillip's paintings. Also consists of photographs of Phillips and his paintings, murals and woodcuts (1940s-1950s).

Source of Acquisition:
Purchased from Mrs. W.J. Phillips, 1961; transferred from Riveredge Foundation, 1979, and gift of anonymous donor, 2013.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Other Walter Phillips papers are held by the Pavilion Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
An extensive interview with Phillips is in the Alberta Artists Oral History Project, at Glenbow, call number RCT-71-(11-28).

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-969, M-4843-(63-64), M-9575, PA-2656, PA-3964, PB-661, PB-987, NA-4776

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