William Goodridge Roberts

Known for his landscapes and still life paintings, Goodridge Roberts achieved major acclaim in his lifetime and remains an essential reference in early Canadian modernism. The son of Theodore Goodridge Roberts and the nephew of Charles G. D. Roberts (both prolific, successful authors), he was born in Barbados and later educated at the École des beaux-arts, Montréal, and Art Students League, New York. Moving between Ottawa, Kingston, and Montréal, he frequently contributed to the founding of arts associations and schools and exhibited widely. During the Second World War, he served as an official war artist. Following this posting in England, he received a fellowship that allowed him to study in Europe. Painting and draughting in France and Italy, Roberts was able to absorb the influence of the Renaissance and Post-Impressionist masters he had initially discovered during his years at the New York's Art Students League. In 1952, Roberts was honoured to be among the four artists selected to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale, and in 1959 he became the first artist-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick. Roberts received an honorary doctorate from UNB in 1960 and was the subject of a major travelling retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Canada in 1969–70.