Frederick S. Haines
(1879-1960)

Born in Meaford, Ontario, Frederick Haines moved to Toronto at the age of 17 to pursue an art career. He began exhibiting his paintings in 1901 and then studied art in Belgium at the Académie Royale des Beaux Arts where he was awarded a gold medal in figure painting. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts from 1919, he eventually reached the post of president of this society in 1939. He served as curator at the Art Gallery of Toronto and, in 1930, he was responsible for bringing the work of Salvador Dali and Picasso to Toronto, a very progressive move for the time. He also served as principal of the Ontario College of Art. Though he is best known for his landscapes and figurative works, he was an early proponent of abstraction in Canadian art. A friend of the members of the Group of Seven (and cousin of Group member Franklin Carmichael), his works can be found in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

Haines was respected for his skill with printmaking and engravings and he was one of the first artists asked to contribute to the Sampson-Matthews wartime silkscreen art program. “Beech Woods” from 1943 offers an atmospheric view through a stand of mature beech trees and across an Ontario lake. A hazy summer afternoon hangs translucent gauze in front of the ridge of a deciduous forest in the distance.

Artwork for sale by Frederick S. Haines