Roberts Gallery Blog
Roberts Gallery Blog

William Winter – Life and Career

(Image detail: BEDROOM, c.1946 by Jack Bush, 12″ x 16″, Oil on masonite. From left to right this painting shows Leslie Wookie, William Winter, and an unknown artist. It is thought that the setting of this painting is the interior of a home in Belfountain, Ontario, where the artists had traveled for a sketching trip.)

Many people are familiar with the artwork of William Winter, but fewer are familiar with his life and career. As a part of our pop-up exhibition of Winter’s work, here are a few important points from his life:

  • Born in Winnipeg in 1909
  • Received training under L.L. Fitzgerald and Frank H. Johnston at the Winnipeg School of Art from 1923 to 1929
  • Worked as a commercial artist at Brigden’s, Winnipeg from 1930 to 1935
  • Moved to Toronto in 1937
  • In 1942, with Jack Bush and Leslie Wookie, founded the commercial art firm “Wookie, Winter, and Bush”
  • Exhibited regularly in the fine art department of Eaton’s College street in the late 40s and early 50s
  • Had his first of 19 exhibitions at Roberts Gallery in 1959
  • The subject matter in his early work centered around urban scenes and city life, while the subject matter of his later work was almost entirely of focused on children
  • Had a distinctive way of holding his cigarette, as shown in BEDROOM, c. 1946 by Jack Bush
  • Was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists, the Ontario Society of Artists, the Canadian Group of Painters, and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour
  • Undertook several public commissions, including ones for Children’s Aid Society in Toronto and the the Robert S. McLaughlin Public Library in Oshawa
  • Taught at the Ontario College of Art in the 1960s
  • Also traveled widely during the 60s, taking painting trips to Greece, Spain, Italy and Mexico
  • Has work in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Vancouver, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, as well as private and corporate collections nationally and internationally
  • Later in life, moved to England to be near family and died there in 1996