Frederick S. Haines

Frederick S. Haines, Untitled, Serigraph, 1984.01.19

Frederick S. Haines, 1879-1960

Born: Meaford, Ontario, 1879

Died: 1960

Nationality: Canadian

Part of the Sampson-Matthews Serigraph Miniatures Collection

Frederick S. Haines was born in Meaford, Ontaio. His ambition to become an artist developed at a very early age, moving to Toronto at seventeen, to pursue his dream. He made a living and financed his studies at the Central Ontario School of Art, by painting portraits for a traveling art dealer. He first exhibited with the Ontario Society of Artists in 1901 and was elected a member in 1906. He continued his art studies in Europe at the Académie Royale des Beaux Arts, in Antwerp, Belgium, where he was awarded a gold medal for figure painting.

In 1919 Haines expanded his artistic repetoire to include printmaking. His printmaking came to broad attention in 1924 at an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto. An article in Toronto's Star Weekly magazine noted that his etchings displayed, "remarkable tone quality", and were responsible for the artist, "becoming famous the continent over...!"

He became an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1919 and was elected president of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1924. Haines was appointed Curator at the Art Gallery of Toronto four years later. He remained in that post until his appointment as principle of the Ontario School of Art in 1932. In his capacity as Commissioner of Fine Arts for the Canadian National Exhibition, he was instrumental in bringing the work of Picasso and Dali to to the CNE art gallery, a very progressive move for the 1930s. He was elected president of the Rocal Canadian Academy in 1939.

Although he worked in a figurative style himself, Haines was very open to non-objective painting styles among his peers and students. As principle of the Ontario College of Art, he kept a studio where he could paint, allowing students to observe how he "solved his own painting problems". Upon his retirement for teaching, in 1951, he returned to painting full time at his studio in Thornhill. After his death in 1960, an exhibition of his work was held at the Art Gallery of Toronto. His work is represented in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.