Finding Florence

October 14 to December 10, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, October 20 at 7PM

Back in 1970, Station Gallery opened its doors with an inaugural exhibition of Whitby’s most famed historical artist. This posthumous retrospective of Florence Helena McGillivray brought exposure to a little-known and under-appreciated figure in the development of early Canadian art.

She was born on March 1, 1864 on a farm at the corner of Taunton and Lakeridge Roads. In the early 1900s she taught at what is now Trafalgar Castle School. McGillivray travelled to France in 1913 to further her art studies. Freely absorbing modern movements in Europe, she transported her influences upon returning to Canada.

She actively exhibited and pursued a career as an artist. She retired to live in Toronto in the 1930s, where she died in 1938. Her paintings are represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Hamilton and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. Many believe that she taught Tom Thomson a trick or two about painting.

During the sesquicentennial autumn, we’ll revisit and retrace McGillivray’s eclectic stylistic paths. Borrowing from both public holdings and private collections, Finding Florence will add presence and dimension to an artist who is only now rightfully attaining her esteemed place in Canadian art.

Thank you to Trafalgar Castle School for supporting this exhibition:





Thank you to the individual donors who generously contributed to the Finding Florence exhibition:

Bill & Marion Irwin
The Family of the Honourable George A. McGillivray
Barbara Mitchell
Andrew & Margaret-Elizabeth Schell

Station Gallery gratefully acknowledges the research and project coordination of William C. Allen

For more information please visit: 

To view Bill’s video in collaboration with SG:

To purchase the book please visit our e-shop here

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