Artwork by Yvonne McKague Housser,  Evening on the Dock

Yvonne McKague Housser
Evening on the Dock

oil on board
signed lower left; signed and titled on the reverse
13.5 x 20 in ( 34.3 x 50.8 cm )

Auction Estimate: $3,500.00$2,500.00 - $3,500.00

Price Realized $1,800.00
Sale date: June 25th 2024

Private Collection, Ontario

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Yvonne McKague Housser
(1898 - 1996) Canadian Group of Painters, OSA, RCA

Born Muriel Yvonne McKague in Toronto, the artist began studying at the Ontario College of Art at the age of sixteen. She took post graduate study at the College and joined the College staff. She visited the Studio Building and decorated the shack behind. It has once been Tom Thomson’s studio up to the time of his death. She worked for F. H. Varley and Arthur Lismer as their teaching assistant before heading to Europe to continue her studies.

She returned to Canada in 1922 and continued her teaching at the College. She first exhibited in 1923 at the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, participated in three Group of Seven exhibits, and had two exhibitions at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She travelled again to Europe in 1924 and visited England, France and Italy. In 1930 she spent the summer in Vienna where she took a course on child art under Cizek. Throughout, she continued to teach at the College.

In 1929, art critic F.B. Housser in the ‘Yearbook of the Arts in Canada’ wrote “Yvonne McKague, on the staff of the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, is a trained painter of the modern school who has contributed several original canvases to Canadian art exhibitions. Her compositions have strength and intellectuality, showing much intelligent feeling and consideration for structure, design, form and spatial qualities.” Not only was Housser appreciative of her painting but they married sometime after. Frederick Housser died in 1936. Yvonne Housser continued to teach at the Ontario College of Art until 1949 when she retired.

Her work carried the message of discovery of Canada’s beauty, as did Jackson, Lismer, MacDonald, Carmichael and others of the Group of Seven. Her works were reproduced for the series of silkscreen prints created by Sampson-Matthews Limited in the early 1940’s. These reproductions were initially to decorate hostels for the armed services but were later purchases by business organizations. In her painting she kept moving more and more into semi-abstract and abstract expressionism. She exhibited with Rody Kenny Courtice, Bobs Cogill Haworth and Isabel McLaughlin.

She is represented in the National Gallery of Canada; Art Gallery of Ontario; Hart House, U. of T. and many others. She did a mural for the Canadian Pacific Railway; also taught at the Ryerson Institute and the Doon School of Fine Art. She was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists (1927); Royal Canadian Academy (A.R.C.A. 1942 - R.C.A. 1951); Canadian Group of Painters (1933 Found. Member) and the Heliconian Club. She lived in Toronto.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979