John (Jack) Martin


Born in 1904 Nuneaton, England
 / Died in 1965

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About the Artist

John (Jack) Martin was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, in 1904. His earliest studies were under his father, Harry D. Martin, an architect and designer. He studied art at the King Edward VI School, under Dr. E.A. Needham (1914-1916) and Mr. Smith (1916-1918). He also studied at the Slade School of Art and at the Birmingham School of Art (1919-1920), under E.S. Harper. In 1924, Martin moved to Canada, and two years later began working for the textile firm, H.P. Ritchie. An accomplished etcher and textile printer, he introduced the stencil screening process to Canadian textiles. In 1931, encouraged by his friend Arthur Lismer, Martin began exhibiting his paintings at the Ontario Society of Artists exhibition. He was a member of the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers (1938), the Ontario Society of Artists (1940), the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (1951), the International Institute of Arts and Letters (1960), and the Canadian Group of Painters (1960). Between 1945 and 1953, he was Director of Design at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. After moving to Ayr, Ontario, in 1953, he worked as an art instructor at Ridley College, St. Catherine’s, Ontario, while continuing to lecture at schools and art associations throughout Ontario during the summer, and for a year at the Nova Scotia College of Art. He was also an art instructor at the Stratford Art Society where he met and became close friends with the artist W. M. White. In 1961 he was awarded a Canada Council grant to study art and architecture in Europe. During the early 1960s he illustrated A Guide to Waterloo County and Anthony L. Kearsley’s Paths of History in Perth and Huron. His paintings are represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, London Art Gallery, and Portland Art Gallery. Martin died in Ayr on November 6, 1965, after his car was struck by a drunk driver. He was married to Agnes Martin (née Bauchof). They had one daughter, Mrs. J.D. (Ann) Mitchell, who studied at the Ontario College of Art and worked as a designer in Stratford, Ontario.


Curtesy of National Gallery of Canada