Historic Art | Frederick B. Taylor

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Pouring Residue Bronze into the Chill Moulds in the Brass Foundry, Dominion Engineering Works, Lachine, PQ November 1942

Technique: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 12.5 x 15.5 in.


About the Artist

Frederick B. Taylor (1906 – 1987) was born in Ottawa and mostly raised there, living briefly in London, England from 1916 to 1918. He studied architecture at McGill University and was awarded McGill’s Angiln Norcross Prize for drawing. After graduating in 1930, Taylor studied, exhibited, and worked in both Britain and Canada, eventually settling in Montreal by 1937.

After the Second World War broke out in 1939, Taylor began an unsuccessful campaign for the Canadian Government to start an officially sanctioned war-art program. Undeterred by the Government’s refusal, Taylor used his artistic talent as well as family connections (his brother was Canadian businessman and millionaire E.P. Taylor) to gain access to and document Canadian Pacific Railway′s Angus Shops in Montreal, along with several Canadian shipyards and other Canadian war industry factories.

During this period, Taylor was able to paint over 200 works that document the diverse, strenuous, and often unrecognized or under-appreciated work done by Canada’s factory employees. Taylor used a muted palette of industrial greens, browns and greys. He demonstrated an extraordinary ability to capture not only the industrial atmosphere and harsh fluorescent factory lighting, but also the intense look of concentration on the faces of the workers.

Taylor continued his artistic career after the War, exhibiting and participating in shows mostly in Quebec and Ontario. In 1960, he moved to Mexico where he tried his hand at sculpture and silk screening.

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