TABLE OF CONTENTS
Thomas Garland Greene Collection:
The Canadian landscape painter and etcher Thomas Garland Greene was born on September 12, 1875, in Toronto, Ontario, to Thomas G. Greene and Maria Cumming Greene. During his youth, he trained for seven years with the Toronto Engraving Company. In 1898 he received lessons from William Cruikshank (1848-1922) during night school sessions at the Central Ontario School of Art in Toronto. He later travelled to London, England, in 1902, to study with William Mouat Loudan (1868-1925) at the Westminister School of Art and with Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953) at the Finsbury Art School. While in London, Greene worked at Carlton Studio in 1903, along with fellow Canadians Archibald Martin (1876-1954), Norman Price (1877-1951), and William Wallace. At the time, Carlton Studio was the largest graphic design company in the United Kingdom. He returned to Canada in 1904 and settled briefly in London, Ontario, to work for an advertising agency.
Over the years, Greene became an active member in a variety of art clubs, including the Polypictus Club, which he joined in 1897. The Polypictus Club required each member to complete a small watercolour that would then be circulated amongst club members for comments and critiques in the club journal. Greene was a founding member of both the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (1926, President in 1929) and the Canadian Society of Graphic Art (President from 1931 to 1933), and a member of the Ontario Society of Artists (1911); the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto (1915); the Toronto Art Students' League; and the Mahlstick Club (1915). Greene often exhibited his works at these clubs, as well as at the Royal Canadian Academy (from 1914 to 1932).
Greene had a great interest in art education, beginning his career in 1915 as a teacher at the Ontario Ladies' College in Whitby, Ontario, where he taught until 1925. He went on to give art classes at St. Andrew's College in Aurora, Ontario, and the Northern Vocational School in Toronto. In 1922 Greene created and prepared drawing lesson plans for publication through the Shaw Correspondence School, located on Bloor Street West in Toronto. At the Girls' Latin School in Chicago he taught French from 1934 until 1937 and lectured for the Department of Education at the Art Institute of Chicago. He also wrote art catalogues and educational texts for children.
After retiring in 1935, Greene moved to Hawkestone on Lake Simcoe and offered private lessons on sculpture for children from 1938 to 1940. He devoted his later years to both writing poetry and translating French poetry. At age 80, he died in Orillia, Ontario, at the Orillia Memorial Hospital on November 18, 1955. Never married, Greene was survived by his sister Penelope McGregor and her four sons, William, Thomas, Robert, Hector, three great-nieces, and two great-nephews. He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.
The collection originally consisted of 16 small-scale pencil sketches of animal and human anatomy, an unpublished manuscript entitled "Art Fodder," and two orange Scribbler notebooks filled with lesson plans for a proposed drawing course at the Shaw Correspondence School in Toronto (1922). The lesson plans describe such topics as primary drawing, composition, landscape drawing, perspective, and object drawing. Greene occasionally illustrated his lessons with pencil-and-pen sketches as well as other images. On the second-to-last page of the first notebook is a draft of a letter to the director of the school. The first accrual also contained a blue Hilroy exercise notebook with notes from Wendon Blake's Creative Color (1972), which belonged to Thomas J. McGregor, Greene's nephew.
The second accrual added a small amount of correspondence to the collection, including letters sent and received in 1933, 1935, 1940, and 1947; among the correspondents are Samuel S. Finlay and various clubs to which Greene belonged. Other materials within the second accrual are related to Greene's art practice and interests, including a Polypictus Club notebook from April-June 1897 (with club rules, original drawings and handwritten comments by members); two Carlton Studio advertisements; three exhibition invitations; reproductions of various lithographs; newspaper clippings; notes and a handful of drawings of Sault Ste. Marie in the seventeenth century; cards designed and signed by Norman Price; Johnson-King Company paper samples; a 64.5 cm x 59 cm engraved print of Greene's The Passing Storm (1930); and a 33.5 cm x 43 cm watercolour portrait of the American naturalist John Burroughs by Greene. Also included in the second accrual are anonymous handwritten and typescript versions of Greene's obituary, newspaper clippings from the time of his death, postcards sent to Greene, and photographs.
Photographs include portraits of Greene; his Carlton Studio partners; his artwork; his sister, Penelope McGregor; and his nephews, particularly Thomas McGregor. After Greene's death, his belongings are believed to have been passed on to his nephew, Thomas McGregor, which may account for the significant number of portraits depicting McGregor and his wife, Cathie. Also included is a photograph of the American naturalist John Burroughs, which was probably used as a source for Greene's watercolour.
Source of title proper: Supplied title based on contents of the collection.
Physical description: Other material includes 16 drawings, 33 b&w photographs, 1 print of The Passing Storm, 1 watercolour of the American naturalist John Burroughs, 2 watercolour cards, 4 postcards, 1 printed Christmas card, and 3 printed exhibition invitations.
Immediate source of acquisition: Acquired by the National Gallery of Canada from D & E Lake Limited, Toronto, in 1998 and 2000.
Language: Text is mainly in English. A few of Greene's poems are written in French.
Terms governing use and reproduction: For permission to reproduce or publish material from the Thomas Garland Green Collection, a written request must be made to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Box list available.
Accruals: No further accruals are expected.
Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Kelli Babcock in 2010.
[Title of item], Thomas Garland Greene Collection, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.