Artwork by Doris Jean McCarthy,  Icebergs
Thumbnail of Artwork by Doris Jean McCarthy,  Icebergs Thumbnail of Artwork by Doris Jean McCarthy,  Icebergs Thumbnail of Artwork by Doris Jean McCarthy,  Icebergs

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Doris McCarthy

oil on canvas
signed lower right; dated “720824 (August 24, 1972)” on the reverse
24 x 30 ins ( 61 x 76.2 cms )

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Gift of the Artist
Private Collection, Ontario
By descent to the present Private Collection, Ontario
Doris McCarthy, “My Life”, Toronto, 2006, page 204
Throughout Doris McCarthy’s long and storied career, the artist made numerous trips around the world, including a year painting in Europe in 1951, and a solo tour of Asia in 1961. However, McCarthy favoured her paintings of Canada, which became her best-known subject matter.

McCarthy began her trips to the Arctic in 1972 and stayed with John and Colly Scullion, John being the settlement manager at Pond Inlet. This was an adventurous time for McCarthy and she experimented with light, colour and pattern. By 1977 McCarthy was confidently producing large canvases that demonstrated her command of the formal properties of painting. Remarking on her first encounter with an iceberg, McCarthy said, “the brilliant turquoise and green of the deep crevasses of glacial ice, fifty feet (fifteen meters) visible and more than ten times that depth below the surface”. McCarthy’s paintings of icebergs and the Arctic landscape are considered to be among the artist’s best known and most celebrated works.

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Doris Jean McCarthy
(1910 - 2010) RCA, OSA

Born in Calgary, Alberta, McCarthy attended the Ontario College of Art from 1926–1930 where she was awarded various scholarships and prizes. She became a teacher shortly thereafter and taught most frequently at Central Technical School in downtown Toronto from 1932 until she retired in 1972. She spent most of her life living and working in Scarborough, Ontario though she travelled abroad extensively and painted the landscapes of various countries including: Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, England and Ireland. McCarthy was probably best-known for her Canadian landscapes and her depictions of Arctic icebergs.

McCarthy's work has been exhibited and collected extensively in Canada and abroad, in both public and private art galleries including: The National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Doris McCarthy Art Gallery. McCarthy also penned three autobiographies chronicling the various stages of her life: A Fool in Paradise (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1990), The Good Wine (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991), and Ninety Years Wise (Toronto: Second Story Press, 2004). She was also the recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada; honorary degrees from the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, Trent University, the University of Alberta, and Nipissing University; and an honorary fellowship from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She died on November 25, 2010.