Artwork by Nora Frances Elisabeth Collyer,  Farmstead, Eastern Townships

Nora Collyer
Farmstead, Eastern Townships

oil on canvas, laid down on board
signed lower right
22 x 26 ins ( 55.9 x 66 cms )

Auction Estimate: $15,000.00$10,000.00 - $15,000.00

Price Realized $13,800.00
Sale date: November 22nd 2016

Acquired directly from the artist
By descent to the current Private Collection, Ontario
Evelyn Walters, “The Women of Beaver Hall: Canadian Modernist Painters”, Toronto, 2005, page 25
Robert Ayre, "Gentlemen and Ladies!", “The Montreal Star”, 25 April 1964
Following her mother’s death in 1930, Nora Collyer looked after her father and his two residences: a house in Montreal and a cottage in Foster in the Eastern Townships. The cottage became a popular weekend gathering for Collyer and her Beaver Hall friends. In 1950, four years after her father’s passing, the artist and her long-term companion bought their own summer home in the nearby town of Magog. Collyer spent numerous summers illustrating the picturesque landscapes of the Eastern Townships, as demonstrated in “Farmstead, Eastern Townships.” In 1964, Robert Ayre of the Montreal Star wrote “She loves ripeness, the snugness of villages in the hills, and celebrates them in full-bodied colour and easy, comfortable rhythms.”

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Nora Frances Elisabeth Collyer
(1898 - 1979) Beaver Hall Group

Nora Collyer was born in Montreal. She studied at the Art Association of Montreal, one of the few art institutions that admitted female students at the time. The school was directed by RCA president, William Brymner. At the AAM (which later became the Montreal Museum of Fine Art), she received professional instruction from Brymner and landscape artist, Maurice Cullen. In 1921 she joined fellow AAM graduates at their studio at 305 Beaver Hill Hall. This association of artists called themselves the Beaver Hall Group. The three story house offered the artists inexpensive studio space and A large room on the ground floor, which served as their exhibition gallery. Nora shared a studio in fellow AAM colleague, Anne Savage. The group was connected with the Group of Seven through A.Y.Jackson, who was a member of both groups and they were invited to exhibit together. The group had disbanded after only two years, but the women in the group continued to associate together.

In the years that followed, Nora taught drawing at Trafalgar School and at the AAM with Sarah Robertson. She participated in the Spring Exhibitions of the AAM from 1919 to 1955. Her choice of subject matter included portraiture, still lifes and landscapes portrayed in different seasons of the year. She also exhibited with the RCA from 1922 to 1942 and with the Canadian Group of Painters. She held solo exhibitions at the Dominion Gallery (1946) and at the Walter Klinkhoff Gallery (1964). Nora Collyer was a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. The women of the Beaver Hall Group were honoured with an exhibition of their work at the National Gallery of Canada in 1967. Nora Collyer died in Montreal at the age of 81.

A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Vol.1, Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks, 1997
Painting Friends, The Beaver Hall Women Painters, Barbara Meadowcroft, Véhicule Press, 1999