Historic Art | E.J. Hughes R.C.A.

About the Artist

Edward John Hughes, painter (b at North Vancouver, BC 17 Feb 1913; d at Duncan, BC 5 Jan 2007). One of the most distinguished painters of his generation, E.J. Hughes lived on Vancouver Island since 1951 until his death. He studied with F.H. Varley and J.W.G. MacDonald at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts from 1929 to 1934.

Upon graduation he started a commercial art firm that produced pencil portraits, designs for calendars and posters, and several mural commissions including one for the BC government at the 1939 San Francisco World's Fair. Hughes joined the army in 1939 and was appointed an Official War Artist in 1940. He served in this capacity until 1946 and produced more than 1500 works.

Hughes made more than 400 painstaking paintings in oil, watercolour or acrylic after signing a contract with Max Stern of the Dominion Gallery, Montréal, in 1951. The artist's inspiration was found in landscape, particularly Canada's West Coast, which he depicted in a vivid and luminous manner. Hughes's paintings are found in many major Canadian collections including those of the National Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. A major retrospective and analysis of his work was presented at the Surrey Art Gallery in 1984. He received the Order of Canada in 2001 and the Order of British Columbia in 2005.

By Nicholas Tuele, The Canadian Encyclopedia

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