In 1988 when he was 80, Paul Sinclair ANDREW celebrated his life as an artist with a sixty-year retrospective exhibit. A short biography, together with his career timeline and lists of exhibits, paintings and professional affiliations, were published in his art exhibition flyer. I have transcribed the contents of this flyer as follows:
Paul S. Andrew, A Sixty Year Retrospective
During the 1930’s and 40’s, Paul Andrew’s involvement with the Montreal Art community established his position as a gifted and dedicated painter of his time. For over 20 years his work was seen frequently in exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Royal Canadian Academy and in travelling exhibitions sponsored by the National Gallery of Canada.
Sixty years after these auspicious beginnings, Paul Andrew is now being recognized as a prominent figure in the second wave of painters and sculptors emerging from an important period in Canadian art history. This group of artists are now gaining prominence in the Canadian art community after long being overshadowed by the awesome critical and commercial success of The Group of Seven. Andrew’s long association with these artists of the Beaver Hall studios, (who formed the nucleus of the Montreal academic art community), provided the springboard for a long and rich journey in search of his own painterly vocabulary.
Six decades later, Mr. Andrew’s paintings have recorded this journey, resulting in an impressive and unique body of artwork. The early influences of his teacher Edwin Holgate and the work of James Wilson Morrice are seen clearly in the work of the late 30’s; when the sombre and meticulously painted still lifes, interiors and portraits gave way to a looser approach and bolder palette. Later, work of the French Impressionists lured Andrew even further from his academic roots, becoming the catalyst for a deep and lasting change in his creative sensibilities.
In recognition of both Mr. Andrew’s accomplishments of the past 60 years, and the 80th anniversary of his birth, we are proud to present this retrospective exhibition of one of Canada’s most dedicated and undeservedly overlooked painters.
BIOGRAPHY - Paul Sinclair Andrew
Born February 16, 1908 St Antigonish, Nova Scotia to Rev. A.E. Andrew (Hon. Capt) and M.E. Sinclair.
Attended military school - Windsor, Nova Scotia. Learned telegraph and Morse Code at Western Union - North Sydney.
1926 - In Search of employment moved to Montreal. Worked during summer at CN Telegraph. Studied commercial art during winter with Wilfred Barnes (ARCA)
1927-28 - Worked as commercial layout artist for Bill Finch and George Adams
1929 - Began figure drawing classes wih Paul Caron ARCA in effort to enhance commercial art skills
1930 - Prompted by Caron - entered a red chalk (sanguine) drawing into the MMFA Spring Exhibition - hence, the first sale
1931 - Moved into a studio in Beaver Hall Square. Began fine art study with Adam Sheriff Scott RCA. Accepted as a member of Montreal Arts Club (Leslie Smith recommendation)
1932-33 - Regular sittings in Paul’s studio and Scott’s classes produced a number of portraits and figures. From this period forward Paul’s involvement became more extensive and he began to exhibit regularly at the MMFA Spring Exhibitions (Archives records show his work exhibited: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1954).
1934 - Involvement in Montreal Arts Club provided creative nourishment and life long friendships: T.R. McDonald, David Morrice, Bob McKay, Sam Borenstein, Norman Bethune.
1935 - Began regular sketching trips with A.S. Scott RCA in Laurentians
1936 - RCA Exhibition - moved into Scott’s studio - St. Famille St. MMFA Exhibition
1937 - RCA Exhibition - “Wall of Honour”. MMFA Exhibitiion
1938 - RCA Exhibition - Began studies with Edwin Holgate RCA (member Group of Seven). MMFA Exhibition
1939 - RCA Exhibition in Toronto - moved into Robert Pilot’s studio (next door to former studio). MMFA Exhibition. November - concluded studies with E. Holgate. Married.
1940 - Canada enters World War II - after an unsuccessful bid as a war artist, enlisted in Signal Corps. Served Canada overseas until 1945.
1945 - Returned to Montreal confirmed Capt. Paul S. Andrew
1946 - Moved to Town of Mount Royal. Formed Mount Royal Arts School on Cote de Neiges St. with Audrey Gautiere, Jean Dunn
1947 - Exhibited One Man Show RCA arranged by R. Pilot PRCA. MMFA Exhibition
1948-52 - Taught Art School Town of Mount Royal. Organized exhibitions Town of Mount Royal Hall. Ran art school for CNR Headquarters
1953 - Exhibited MMFA
1954 - Two Man Exhibition MMFA with Paterson Ewen
1969 - Retired from CN
1970 - Moved to Glovertown, Nfld. Resumed painting full time. Exhibitied several times in Maritimes.
1978 - Moved to Vancouver [BC Canada]
[ARCA = Associate of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA)]
[MMFA - Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ]
The flyer doesn’t list the location of the exhibit, and at first I assumed it was held in Montreal. But I’m rethinking this because his note mentioned Halifax, and he had connections to a variety of other Canadian cities as well. My aunt told me that Paul used to spend summers in Newfoundland (his wife Daphne’s home) and winters in Vancouver, BC (where his brother Geoffrey ANDREW lived). She also mentioned that they were invited to a showing of his self portrait being held in Halifax Art Gallery, but they did not attend due to cost of travel. As a picture of his self portrait was included in the flyer, and as his obituary said the "the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia owns an exceptional collection of Andrew portraits from the 1930's", I’m now betting that the 1988 exhibit was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I do not know a lot about Paul’s home life, except that he married Dapne in 1939, and she died a number of years before Paul did. They had a son and a daughter. Paul died in Vancouver BC in Aug 2000 (either on the 1st or the 5th, sources vary). He was 92 years young, and left behind an impressive legacy of paintings which can be enjoyed by art enthusiasts wherever they are on display.
Paul Sinclair Andrew, artist index - Canadian Heritage Information Network website
Paul Sinclair Andrew, art - on artnet site
Paul Sinclair Andrew, art auction history - art sales index site
Canadian Painting in the 30s - a book by Charles C Hill - from the National Gallery of Canada site
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA)
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) History - RCA site
RCA History pdf book - covers 1880 to 1933
Group of Seven Art
The Collection - The Group of Seven - McMichael site
Beaver Hall Group - book previews on google books
"By Woman’s Hand", a 1994 documentary film about the Beaver Hall Hill Group - National Film Board of Canada
En Plein Air Painting
For one of Paul Andrew's art teachers:
Paul Caron Biography - Lock Gallery site
Paul Caron Biography - Klinkhoff Art site
Paul Caron Art - Alan Klinkhoff Gallery site