Newspaper clippings from a variety of newspapers relating to the art career of Ralph Conner as well as copies of exhibition catalogues.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Western Ontario Exhibition, 1952

Hang Works of K-W Artist

Featured at the 12th annual exhibition of western Ontario artists, which opened at the London Public Library last night, is a memorial exhibition of the works of Ralph Conner, Twin City industrialist and artist before his death a year ago.

Forty paintings of mr. Conner are on display in a separate room of the library.  The complete exhibition was opened last night by Andre Bieler of Kingston.  Mrs. Conner and G. A. Conner, son of the artist, were present.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gallery has Art Display, 1957

Gallery has Art Display
An exhibition featuring the work of the late Ralph Conner, an artist who made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of art in the Twin cities and whose influence spread throughout Canada, will open Friday night at the K-W Art Gallery.
Mr. Conner was born in England in 1895 and in early life used water colors as his chief medium.  He was overwhelmed by the difference in coloring and felt his former medium was unsuited to the Canadian landscape.  He turned to oils, finding great satisfaction in their richer colors and also became an advocate of use of the palette knife in painting.
A few years prior to his death in 1951 he returned to water colors using a technique similar to that of contemporary English painters.
His pictures have been hung by the Ontario Society of Artists, the Royal Canadian Academy, the Montreal Museum,  the Williams Memorial Gallery and have been exhibited all across Canada.  In 1931 he organized the Art Society of Kitchener and Waterloo.

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Memorial Exhibition 1957

Ralph Conner (1895-1951)

Few professional artists and teachers of art have made such a profound impression on the artistic life of their community as did the late Ralph Conner.  And yet he called himself a Sunday painter.  He was always a student and never gave a formal lesson.  His paintings have been shown by the Ontario Society of Artists, the Royal Canadian Academy and in leading galleries across Canada.  Local collectors are proud to include one or more of his works.  Most local painters will testify to the value of his inspiration, encouragement and informal teaching and criticism.

Ralph Conner was born in Birkenhead, England in 1895.  His father was a painter of some ability.  Before coming to Canada in 1913 Conner had studied painting in watercolour.  In Canada, painting was for him an intensely absorbing hobby.  He was a successful furniture manufacturer, for some years up until his death in 1951, president of De Luxe Upholstering Company Limited.

In 1931, Conner was the prime organizer in the founding of the Art Society out of which grew the present Kitchener-Waterloo Society of Artists.  During the next twenty years he was out sketching almost every week-end and holiday.  In between he did masses of studio work of which only a small portion remains.  Many of his efforts, failing to please him, were consigned by him to the fire.

Rarely did Conner go out alone on his sketching trips.  His car was always filled with other sketching enthusiasts who were attracted to him and benefited from his assistance and friendly, witty and always frank criticism.

As an examination of his works will show, Conner was always an experimenter.  He tried new approaches and new methods inspired by a study of the works of others.  But by nature, he was not an imitator.  The results always showed his own individuality.

In association with the late Ross Hamilton and others, Conner did much to promote the fine annual exhibitions of local work by the Kitchener-Waterloo Society of Artists which started some years ago.  He also encouraged others to submit works to major exhibition elsewhere.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery is very proud to present in its opening season this fine memorial exhibition.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Western Ontario Exhibition, 1951

The 11th Annual Western Ontario Exhibition, May 4 - June 2, 1951 (note: the catalogue states 1951)

Western Ontario Exhibition, 1950

The 10th Annual Western Ontario Exhibition, held at the London Public Library and Art Museum, May 5 - June 4, 1950

Art Gallery of Hamilton, 1949

The Second Annual Winter Exhibition, held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton,  December 1 - 31, 1949

Art Gallery of Toronto, 1945

Ontario Society of Artists, 73rd Annual Spring Exhibition.  Held at the Art Gallery of Toronto, March 3 - April 1, 1945

Western Ontario Exhibition, 1941

First Annual Western Ontario Exhibition : A selection from the current work of professional and amateur artists of the Western Ontario peninsula at the Elsie Perrin Williams Memorial Public Library and Art Museum, London, Ontario.  June 13 - July 15, 1941.

Both Alfred and Ralph exhibited paintings here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

68th annual exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

Royal Canadian Academy Show is Opened by Governor-General.

68th annual exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts held in the galleries of the Art Association of Montreal - November 1947. Listed under "others exhibiting" Ralph Conner