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Homer Watson has been the subject of one major retrospective exhibition and catalogue. Books about him range from reminiscences by family members to more detailed, analytical studies. In addition, Watson wrote a few essays that were not published during his lifetime. Voluminous correspondence is held in the Homer Watson Fonds in the National Gallery of Canada Library & Archives in Ottawa, and additional correspondence can be found at the Edward P. Taylor Library & Archives at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; North York Public Library; University of Toronto Archives; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; MacKenzie Art Gallery Archives, Regina; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa; and the Homer Ransford Watson Fonds in the Queen’s University Archives, Kingston.

 

 

Key Exhibitions

Bringing Heritage Home at the Homer Watson House & Gallery
Installation view of Bringing Heritage Home at the Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener, 2012, photograph by Robert McNair.
Bringing Heritage Home at the Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener
Installation view of Bringing Heritage Home at the Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener, 2012, photograph by Robert McNair.

 

 

1878

Ontario Society of Artists Annual Exhibition, Toronto.

1880

Canadian Academy of Arts Annual Exhibition, Ottawa.

1886

Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London.

1893

World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago.

1899

Dowdeswell Gallery, London.

Cottier Gallery, New York.

1901

Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo.

1904

Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis.

1906

Cottier Gallery, New York.

1920

Masterpieces of Canadian Art by Homer Watson, The Jenkins Art Gallery, Toronto.

1930

Exhibition of Paintings by Homer Watson, R.C.A., O.S.A., Art Gallery of Toronto.

1936

Homer Watson, R.C.A., LL.D.: Memorial Exhibition of Selected Works, Mellors Galleries, Toronto.

1963

Homer Watson, R.C.A., 1855–1936: Paintings and Drawings / Peintures et dessins, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

1975

Nature Seen through a Temperament: Homer Watson, 1855–1936, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.

1991

Homer Watson Annual Exhibition, Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener. This series of annual exhibitions has continued to the present day.

2005–6

Homer Watson: Not Your Average Pastoral Picnic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.

2012

Bringing Heritage Home, Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener.

2015

Parallel Destinies: Homer Watson and Carl Ahrens, Dundas Museum and Archives.

 

 

Writings by the Artist

Homer Watson, “A Landscape Painter’s Day,” first page from a prose manuscript, n.d.
Homer Watson, “A Landscape Painter’s Day,” first page from a prose manuscript, n.d., Queen’s University Archives, Kingston.

Watson’s writings principally comprise essays that combine autobiographical reminiscence and fictionalization to advance his views about landscape painting as a genre, the need for human beings to establish respectful relationships with their geographical environments, and the ways in which painters transpose the natural landscape into the artificiality of art. None of those essays was published during his lifetime, and all exist in varying degrees of incompleteness. They are, though, essential for any reader hoping to grasp the complexity of Watson’s thinking about issues that were important to him.

 

“Conservation of Cressman’s Bush for Waterloo County.” Waterloo Historical Society Annual Report 31 (1944): 30–32.

 

“The Methods of Some Great Landscape Painters.” Queen’s University Archives: Homer Watson Fonds. Published in Gerald Noonan, Refining the Real Canada: Homer Watson’s Spiritual Landscape. Waterloo: mlr editions canada, 1997, 245–69.

 

“The Idealist versus the Realist.” Queen’s University Archives: Homer Watson Fonds. Published in Noonan, 288–305.

 

“A Return to the Village.” Queen’s University Archives: Homer Watson Fonds. Published in Noonan, 306–32.

 

Untitled novel (incomplete draft). Queen’s University Archives: Homer Watson Fonds.

 

 

Critical Writings

Bingeman, Shannon E. “Eventide along the Grand: Homer Watson’s Mystical Landscape.” Master’s thesis, Art History. Ottawa: Carleton University, 2013.

 

Bruder, Joan, and Jason Ouellette, comps. Homer Watson, 1855–1936: A Bibliography. Kitchener: Homer Watson House & Gallery, 1995.

 

Foss, Brian. “Homer Watson and The Pioneer Mill.” Journal of Canadian Art History 33, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 46–84.

 

Homer Watson, c.1913, photograph by Edmond Dyonnet
Homer Watson, c.1913, photograph by Edmond Dyonnet, National Gallery of Canada Archives, Ottawa.

Harper, J. Russell. Homer Watson, R.C.A., 1885–1936: Paintings and Drawings / Peintures et dessins. Exhibition catalogue. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1963.

 

Mavor, James. “The Art of Mr. Homer Watson.” The Art Journal (July 1899): 208–11.

 

Miller, Muriel. Homer Watson: The Man of Doon. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1938; revised edition: Toronto: Summerhill Press, 1988.

 

Noonan, Gerald. Refining the Real Canada: Homer Watson’s Spiritual Landscapes. Waterloo: mlr editions canada, 1997.

 

Tovell, Rosemarie L. “Homer Watson’s The Pioneer Mill: The Making and Marketing of a Print in the Canadian Etching Revival.” Journal of Canadian Art History 31, no. 2 (2010): 12–39.

 

Watson, Jennifer C. “Homer Watson in the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.” RACAR (Revue d’art canadienne / Canadian Art Review) 14, no. 2 (1987): 143–50.

 

 

Video

Saving Places, episode 3: Homer Watson House. Gail Gallant, producer and writer. Toronto: PTV Productions, 2008.

 

 

Further Readings

Brooke, Janet M. Discerning Tastes: Montreal Collectors, 1880–1920. Exhibition catalogue. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1989.

 

Catalogue of an Exhibition by Homer Watson, R.C.A., O.S.A. Exhibition catalogue. Art Gallery of Toronto, 1930.

 

Hayes, Geoffrey. Waterloo County: An Illustrated History. Kitchener: Waterloo Historical Society, 1997.

 

Homer Watson, R.C.A., LL.D.: Memorial Exhibition of Selected Works. Exhibition catalogue. Toronto: Mellors Galleries, 1936.

 

Installation view of Homer Watson, R.C.A., 1855–1936: Paintings and Drawings
Installation view of Homer Watson, R.C.A., 1855–1936: Paintings and Drawings / Peintures et dessins at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1963, photographer unknown.

Illustrated Atlas of the County of Waterloo. Toronto: H. Parsell & Co., 1881.

 

Kerr, Darlene. The Landscapes of Homer Watson: A Particular Time and Place. Exhibition catalogue. Kitchener: Homer Watson House & Gallery, 2000.

 

MacTavish, Newton. “Homer Watson.” In Newton MacTavish, The Fine Arts in Canada, 92–95. Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1925.

 

Myers, Carol Moore-Ede. Lives and Works of the Canadian Artists, no. 4: Homer Watson. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1977.

 

Nature Seen through a Temperament: Homer Watson, 1855–1936. Exhibition catalogue. Kitchener: Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, 1975.

 

O’Brien, Kevin. “Oscar Wilde and Canadian Artists.” Antigonish Review 1, no. 4 (Winter 1971): 11–28.

 

Page, Frank E. Homer Watson, Man and Artist. Kitchener: Commercial Publishing Co., 1939.

 

Stevenson, O.J. “And He Spake of Trees.’” In O.J. Stevenson, A People’s Best, 47–52. Toronto: The Musson Book Company Ltd., 1927.

 

VanEvery, Jane. With Faith, Ignorance and Delight: Homer Watson. Doon, ON: Homer Watson Trust, 1967.

 

 

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