Artwork by George Franklin Arbuckle,  Deserted Fish Drying Houses, Seal Cove, Grand Manan, NB

Franklin Arbuckle
Deserted Fish Drying Houses, Seal Cove, Grand Manan, NB

oil on board
signed lower left; signed, titled and dated “July 24, 1983” on the reverse
12 x 16 ins ( 30.5 x 40.6 cms )

Auction Estimate: $2,500.00$2,000.00 - $2,500.00

Price Realized $2,360.00
Sale date: November 28th 2018

Roberts Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto

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George Franklin Arbuckle
(1909 - 2001) RCA

Arbuckle studied at the Ontario College of Art under J.W. Beatty and J.E.H. MacDonald. He attended summer classes at Franz Johnston's Georgian Bay art school. During the war, he turned his hand to commercial work and became an extremely successful illustrator. He worked for Bomac Engravers for several years at Ottawa and Montreal but he returned to free lance work in 1944. His special knowledge of historical subjects contributed greatly to his stature as an illustrator. Much of this knowledge was obtained from a friend and teacher, C. W. Jeffreys. His fine art painting encompassed both realism and impressionism.

His MacLean’s cover paintings of people, reveal his sensitivity to facial expressions striking a happy medium between caricature and realism. One of his particularly successful illustrations for MacLean’s magazine covered two pages used for Joseph Schull’s “William Lawrence and his wonderful windjammer.” This large illustration of a ship was reproduced in Canadian Art magazine in connection with the 7th Annual Exhibition of Advertising and Editorial Art; other works by him also appeared in that issue. Two of his larger projects have been written about in Weekend magazine. He has won the Jessie Dow award twice and is regarded as one of the more prominent illustrators in Canada.

His love of outdoor painting was rarely satisfied due to his numerous commitments of other types of art work. His more important commissions include: a mural 32 ft., 10 inches by 17 ft. for the City Hall at Hamilton, Ontario; mural for the Sawinigan Water and Power Company, Quebec; the design for tapestries 30 ft. by 19 ft. each, for the Royal Bank of Canada Building on King Street, Toronto. The tapestries were woven at Aubusson, France. Barbara Moon’s article in MacLean’s magazine in 1959 covered many aspects of his life and that of his artist wife Frances-Anne Johnston, daughter of founding Group of Seven member Frank Johnston.

Franklin Arbuckle is represented in the International Business Machines Collection of Contemporary Art, the Seagram Collection of Paintings and the R.C.A. Diploma Collection in the National Gallery of Canada. He is also represented in other leading galleries in North America and Europe. He taught at the Ontario College of Art and continued his career as a free lance artist. He was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists and the Canadian Society of Book Illustrators. He became an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1936, and a full member in 1945. He served as president of the RCA from 1960 to 1964.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume I: A-F", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1977