Carl Percy Martin Title

Listed Canadian Artist: 1904-1997
Rare Colour Woodcut: Signed and titled
Title: “Covered Bridge” Ca. 1950
Signed: Carl Martin
Studied under: Homer Watson RCA. and Carl von Ahrens OSA, ARCA.
Image Size: w: 5.75 in. by h: 7.75 in.
Condition: pristine and original, with no condition issues.
Frame & Glass: Archivally framed with acid-free materials throughtout. The glass is silicone set, which also provides a waterproof splash barrier.
Artist Files Location: National Gallery of Canada - Library and Archives / Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography / City of Peterborough Archives.
Back of Frame: Tight flush paper cover back with inner foam core protection and felt bumpers.


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Carl Percy Martin, Noted Peterborough Ont. Artist

Interesting Note: Carl Percy Martin, may not be a nationally known artist, but he was a well known and respected 20th century Peterborough Ontario artist and printmaker, whose hand-pulled prints rarely come onto the vintage fine print marketplace. This specific coloured woodcut by Carl is quite well done and it's on par with some of the finest woodblock prints created by members of the Group of Seven and their printmaking comtemporaries. It was created by using at least six separate woodcut blocks, one for each colour in the print. Carl also created a few etchings over the years, but it's his coloured woodcuts that stand out as being special, both for their Canadian subject matter, their composition and for their colour palette. While living in the Galt area of Ontario, Carl was a student and friend of two important early Canadian artists, Carl von Ahrens & Homer Watson.

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Carl Percy Martin Bio Title

Carl Percy Martin was born in 1917 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, eventually his family moved to the Millbrook, Ontario area when he was a young boy. Carl began his career in commercial art and graphic design at his uncle's business, theTinney Carriage Works, where he apprenticed under the resident carriage artist and paint decorated horse drawn carriages. After high school he moved to Toronto and worked for several years as a label and textile graphic designer. Carl also worked in other studios as a textile artist for catalogues prior to the second World War. Martin went on to work freelance for several large Canadian firms, creating logos, trademarks and commercial labels. Eventually Carl Martin decided to open his own freelance studio in the Galt area of western Ontario.

While living in this area in his late teens he studied with two noted Canadian artists, Homer Watson (1855-1936) and Carl von Ahrens (1863-1936). At both of their their suggestion, Carl submitted one of his paintings to the Lord Willington Prize competition at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and won first prize. And, it was not to be his last win in exhibitions. Around 1939 his house and studio was destroyed by fire and he and his family returned to the Peteborough area. Carl then began an industrial design business. Martin won contracts with the Canadian government to design textiles and patterns for army uniform badges.

After Carl Martin's death, a large amount of written material came into the possession of his daughter, who then contacted the City of Peterborough Archives in August 1998 about making a donation and the Archivist followed up with a site visit in September. The collection consists of papers related primarily to Millbrook commercial artist and graphic designer, Carl Percy Martin (1904-1997). Included are: a series of personal correspondence from Carl Martin to his parents, (John and Lillian) where Martin is keeping them posted on his efforts to secure a job in Peterborough; a series of personal correspondence or 'love letters' (1900-1902) from a William J. Brown - foreman with the Durham Telephone Company to Carl's mother Lillian Hutchinson of Cavan; a small series of letters from Canadian artist Carl Ahrens to his pupil and friend Carl Martin from 1931 to 1935; also examples of Carl Martin's graphic design work - including colourful greeting cards and displays containing provincial and national emblems from circa1920.

There was also a 1990 published work by Carl Martin entitled, "Like It or Lump It" in which Carl provides an autobiography made up of artful sketches, poetry, recollections of life, along with a few of his insightful opinion pieces.

Carl Percy Martin, noted Peterborough artist, passed away in 1997 at 93.


Print Ref No: 3NOX22GAR-S/BOEX

Carl Percy Martin, Noted Peterborough Ont. Painter and Printmaker

Updated November 15, 2022


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