Walter Phillips was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1884. Trained at the Birmingham School of Art, he was a successful watercolour artist in England before he and his wife, Gladys, emigrated to Winnipeg in 1913. Although watercolour remained his primary medium, the wood block print was an enduring interest which brought his work to a wider audience. Among his best-known and loved images in watercolour and woodblock print are those which depict family holidays on Lake of the Woods from the teens until 1925. In 1940, Phillips was asked to be artist in residence at the Banff School of Fine Arts. He moved to Calgary in 1941 where he taught at the provincial Institute of Technology and Art. He died in 1963 leaving a legacy of uniquely Canadian art. Walter J. Phillips is recognised today as a master of the watercolour and the woodblock print medium and his work is eagerly collected. His works are housed in galleries across Canada, including The National Gallery of Canada, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies as well as collections abroad in London, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Japan, and private collections the world over. The most extensive private collection of work by Phillips was gifted to the city of Winnipeg. Permanently housed in the Pavilion Gallery Museum in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park, the Crabb collection is available for public viewing year round.
Walter Joseph (W.J.) Phillips
Posted:July 7, 2010 - 2:05pm
Untitled (Nude), (watercolour sketch for the woodcut Mary at Muskoka)
Watercolour on Paper, 13.75 x 11.5
Loch Gallery, Calgary
Keewatin, Lake of the Woods
signed WJP front lower right titled Keewatin Ont. on reverse
Watercolour on Paper, 8.75 x 11
Loch Gallery, Winnipeg
Titled, edition: 40/100, and signed in margin Reverse label reads: This colour woodcut was made by the artist in 1943 from a watercolour sketch, which he had made during the depression years. The series was limited to one hundred prints, and...
Colour Wood Block Print, 8.3 x 12.8
Loch Gallery, Calgary
signed, titled, edition # 69/100 in the margin, dated 1926 and monogrammed in the plate This print was completed in July of 1926. Not only is it one of his largest prints he ever created - it required the cutting of more than twelve different...
Color woodblock Print, 18 x 12
Loch Gallery, Toronto
Historical works of significance