Edwin Holgate

Listed Canadian Artist: (1892-1977)
Hand Pulled Serigraph: Silkscreen
Signed: Initialed “E.H.” in the screen
Sight size: w: 4 ¾ in. x h: 3 ¾ in.
Title Known As: “Quebec Farm 1931” from Coutts series of cards
Print Condition: Pristine with no condition issues
Hand Carved Frame & Matted: with archival, rag content and acid-free materials throughout

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Take note: This Holgate serigraph is one of a series of 43 serigraphs created in 1931 for Coutts Hallmark Christmas cards. Group of Seven member A.Y.Jackson was the driving force behind this project and twenty-six of Canada’s leading artist were asked to contribute to this fund raising venture for needy artists, which became known as the 'Painters of Canada' series of Chrismas cards. Due to a drastic downturn in the economy brought on by the 1929 stock market crash, this project soon dwindled and after a few years the cards were removed from the marketplace. So, no one knows what happened to the remaining unsold cards, whether they were stored away or thrown out, nor is anyone quite sure how many of these historic Christmas cards still remain in existance today. This Holgate serigraph was matted and encased in-house by us, in a hand-carved frame resembling the style created by the early 20th C. Montreal miniaturist, Willard Morse Mitchell.


Edwin Holgate

 

Edwin Holgate

 

Edwin Holgate

 

Edwin Holgate

 

 

Edwin Holgate

Edwin HolgateEdwin Holgate was born in Allandale, Ontario in 1892 and studied at the Art Association of Montreal and under Maurice Cullen in summers, as well as with many other well-known talented artists in Quebec and in Paris, France.

He painted Quebec rural farming scenes, streetscapes and figures and is particularly known for his nudes. He also created fine woodcuts and silkscreens and he often signed his work only with his initials. He was member of the Group of Seven between 1929-33 and was a founding member of the highly respected Beaver Hall Hill Group of Montreal.

Holgate, pictured here in a self portrait, was commissioned as war artist in 1943. He exhibited at the Royal Canadian Academy, with the Group of Seven and at the Art Association of Montreal. His work is in many prestigious art galleries around the world and also in numerous private collections.

 

Edwin Holgate died in 1977.


Print Ref No: 10MOX10SIM-S/TAEEX

 

Albert Henry Robinson


The 1931 Christmas cards shown here are from the “Painters of Canada” series that was published by William E. Coutts, the founder of Hallmark Cards Canada. They were all printed by the best in the business, the Sampson-Matthews Company of Toronto.

The series is composed of 46 Christmas cards, 43 of which are serigraphs and three of which are photo mechanical reproductions. Twenty-six notable Canadian artists contributed to this series, among them were several members of the Group of Seven. A key figure in the creation of these cards was A.Y. Jackson, who encouraged William E. Coutts to issue this special series. Jackson envisioned that the production of this series could act as a partial source of income for some of the artists who were experiencing financial difficulties at that time. Coutts also saw it as an opportunity to create artful contemporary Canadian greeting cards that had never been previously presented in this fashion.

The “Painters of Canada” series, that at first promised to be a great success, was unfortunately, created during the Great Depression. So, over just a few short years, the “Painters of Canada” series was designated a financial failure and was relegated to the waste bin of time. Although the actual number of Coutts cards printed is uncertain, it is known that the selling price at that time ranged from $37.50 to $67.50 per box of 100 cards. It is also known that only 25 to 50 boxes of cards were eventually sold and there is no accounting for the remainder of the unsold boxes of cards. It's presumed that they remaining cards were destroyed and are gone forever.

William Coutts was a great supporter of the arts in Canada. Since the founding of the William E. Coutts Company in 1916, he greatly admired and included Canadian artists for greeting card subject matter that illustrated the life and times of Canada in the 1930's. The “Painters of Canada” series began at the very end of the 1920s and even though they weren't around for long, their creation started an on-going tradition for Hallmark Cards Canada, the successor to The William E. Coutts Company. The 1931 series did represent some of the greatest achievements in Coutts' production history with respect to the cards style and presentation, the processes used to create them and the quality of the product itself.

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