• Hagan, Frederick (Canadian, 1918–2003)

    A painter, watercolourist, lithographer, and educator, who taught at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto, for almost forty years. Hagan had an abiding interest in his immediate surroundings; his work is best described as autobiographical. His pictures of his small-town life in Newmarket provide a compelling window onto Ontario society of the 1940s.

  • Hague School

    A group of Dutch Realist painters active in The Hague, on the northwest coast of the Netherlands, from around 1860 to 1890. They were influenced by France’s Barbizon school, which also reacted against the academic style of idealizing nature. The Hague School style is characterized by sombre tones used to depict everyday scenes of fishermen, farmers, windmills, and seascapes. The group led to the formation of the Amsterdam Impressionists, and included Jozef Israëls and Jacob Maris.

  • Hahn, Emanuel (German/Canadian, 1881–1957)

    A sculptor and commercial designer who designed the Ned Hanlan monument (commissioned in 1926 and originally erected on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition; now located on Toronto Islands, Toronto). He was the head of the sculpture department at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto, and the husband of fellow sculptor Elizabeth Wyn Wood.

  • Hambidge, Jay (Canadian/American, 1867–1924)

    A Canadian-born artist, mathematician, and student of classical art, Hambidge was a pupil of William Merritt Chase at the Art Students League of New York. He is best known for conceiving and promulgating the principles of “dynamic symmetry,” a design theory in which mathematical formulas are the foundation of classical architecture and various natural structures. Dynamic symmetry had a profound influence on both abstract and representational painters during the 1920s and 1930s.

  • Hamel, Eugène (Canadian, 1845–1932)

    A painter and designer, Hamel studied for five years with his uncle, the celebrated Quebec portraitist Théophile Hamel, and later trained in Antwerp, Brussels, and Italy. He returned to Canada just after the elder Hamel’s death and assumed his post as pre-eminent painter of Quebec politicians.

  • Hamel, Théophile (Canadian, 1817–1870)

    Hamel rose from humble beginnings to become the most important painter in mid-nineteenth-century Canada. At sixteen he was apprenticed to Antoine Plamondon, a Quebec master of European-style painting, and he later spent three years in Italy, France, and England. He was appointed official portraitist of the United Canadas in 1853.

  • Hanson, Ann Meekitjuk (Qakutut/Iqaluit, b. 1946)

    Born into a traditional Inuit life, Ann Meekitjuk Hanson spoke only Inuktitut for the first eleven years of her life. She has been a civil servant, journalist and broadcaster, with an impressive body of work within the CBC, the National Film Board, and the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation. She served as Commissioner of Nunavut (2005–10).

  • Happenings

    Beginning in the early 1960s, these precursors to performance, film, and video art, Happenings were associated with George Maciunas and the international art group Fluxus. These ephemeral performances challenged conventional views of what was meant by “art,” breaking down the barriers between art and life and subverting traditional, academic notions of the authority of the artist. Happenings tended to be collaborations and involve audience participation.

  • haptic theory

    The study of perception through the sense of touch. As adopted by contemporary art theory, haptics can be combined with vision as a means to imaginatively explore a work of art or a film, as theorized by Laura U. Marks. 

  • hard-edge painting

    A technical term coined in 1958 by the art critic Jules Langsner, referring to paintings marked by well-defined areas of colour. It is widely associated with geometric abstraction and the work of artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland.

  • Harris, Lawren (Canadian, 1885–1970)

    A founding member of the Group of Seven in Toronto in 1920, Harris was widely considered its unofficial leader. His landscape-painting style, unlike that of the other members of the Group, evolved into pure abstraction. The Group of Seven broke up in 1933, and when the Canadian Group of Painters was formed in 1933, Harris was elected its first president.

  • Hart, Sarah (Canadian, 1880–1981)

    Born in Saint John, Hart moved to New York in 1902 where she spent four years studying drawing, clay modelling, and wood carving at The Cooper Union. She returned to New Brunswick and in 1907 began teaching carving and painting, first in Sackville and later in various rural communities around the Maritimes.

  • Hartung, Hans (German/French, 1904–1989)

    An abstract artist who left Germany for Paris, Hartung was preoccupied early in his career with the idea of perfect compositional harmony, as manifested in combinations of colour, movement, and proportion. His gestural paintings of the 1940s are considered the forebears of action painting.

  • Hassan, Jamelie (Canadian, b. 1948)

    An artist and activist whose work addresses issues of social justice, cross-cultural exchange, and global politics. Her multidisciplinary practice is informed partly by her biography: Hassan grew up with ten siblings in a Lebanese-immigrant family in London, Ontario, and she was educated in Rome, Beirut, Windsor, and Baghdad. She won the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2001. Her works are held in public collections across Canada and she has exhibited internationally.

  • Havemeyer bequest

    A monumental donation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1929 from Louisine and Henry Osborne Havemeyer’s extensive personal collection. The Havemeyers were influential New York–based patrons of art, specializing in nineteenth-century French Realist and Impressionist paintings. They also collected a wide range of other works, from Spanish and Islamic art to decorative arts and art from Asian countries. Because of their close relationship with Mary Cassatt, the Havemeyers were early collectors of Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, and Edgar Degas when these artists were relatively unknown in the U.S.

  • Haworth, Bobs (Zema Barbara) Cogill (South African/Canadian, 1900–1988)

    A painter, illustrator, muralist, and potter who worked in an expressionist style, favouring landscapes and abstract compositions. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (for which she also served as president), the Canadian Group of Painters, and the Ontario Society of Artists. During the Second World War, she recorded the activities of the Canadian Armed Forces in British Columbia, later exhibiting this work to critical acclaim.

  • Hay, Deborah (American, b. 1941)

    A highly conceptual and experimental dancer and choreographer who has often worked with largely untrained dancers, though she herself trained with the luminaries Merce Cunningham and Mia Slavenska. Hay has written four books on her artistic practice and experiences as a dancer, most recently Using the Sky: A Dance, 2015.

  • head and body rests

    Used to hold the body still in photographic portraiture in the nineteenth century, when emulsion speeds were slow. A typical head rest consisted of a metal cradle on an adjustable stand; hands and arms could be placed on a book, plinth, or other prop.

  • Heartfield, John (German, 1891–1968)

    Born Helmut Franz Josef Herzfeld, John Heartfield was a pioneer of Dada and actively integrated his leftist, pacifist politics with artistic practice. He worked in print design and typography and as an editor for the German Communist Party. With George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, and Hannah Hoch, Heartfield developed photomontage, combining images from mass media to support his political perspective.

  • Hébert, Adrien (Canadian, 1890–1967)

    The two sons of the sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert, Adrien Hébert and his brother Henri (1884–1950), belonged to the liberal elite who favoured an open attitude toward change as the key to the future of French Canada. At a time when it was popular to celebrate the past and the traditional values of the Quebec countryside, the painter Adrien Hébert drew his inspiration from urban life in the city and port of Montreal. Boldly modern in his choice of subjects, he was more restrained in his treatment of form and colour.

  • Heidegger, Martin (German, 1889–1976)

    A German philosopher most interested in ontology (the study of being), whose ideas influenced important figures from a wide range of academic disciplines, including art history, psychology, political theory, and theology. His most important work, Being and Time, was published in 1927. His membership in the Nazi party from 1933 until the end of the Second World War has led scholars to investigate fascist tendencies in his writings.

  • Hemsworth, Irene Heywood (Canadian, 1912–1989)

    A Canadian painter born in the small community of Waskada, Manitoba. Hemsworth studied at the Winnipeg School of Art from 1931 to 1934 and, later, sculpture at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto. In 1945, she moved to Montreal, where she taught and wrote art criticism.

  • Henderson, Alexander (Canadian, 1831–1913)

    A landscape and portrait photographer, whose images of nature and wilderness were prized in his day. An important figure in the early history of Canadian photography, Henderson was appointed chief of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s new photography department in 1892.

  • Henri, Robert (American, 1865–1929)

    A painter, writer, and teacher known primarily for his influence on the development of twentieth-century American art. A leading figure of the Ashcan School, Henri championed daily urban life as subject matter for art. He taught in New York for more than twenty-five years.

  • Herbin, Auguste (French, 1882–1960)

    Following early forays into Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Herbin dedicated himself to abstraction for the remainder of his career. His long-held interest in colour theory culminated in the 1949 publication L’art non-figuratif non-objectif, which formulated links between colours, forms, musical notes, and letters of the alphabet.

  • Herkomer, Hubert von (German/British, 1849–1914)

    An artist and teacher whose practice included painting, illustration, sculpture, and set design for the stage and cinema. Herkomer also composed and performed in operas and was a journalist, playwright, and pioneer producer/director of British silent films. He is best known as a portrait painter, among the most successful in late nineteenth-century Britain and France.

  • Hess, Esther (Swiss, b. 1919)

    An abstract sculptor and installation artist trained in Zurich and Berlin who works primarily in a minimalist mode. Hess also creates tapestries and paintings and incorporates a wide range of materials into her work, such as Plexiglas, lead, crystal, wood, granite, sulphur, and iron.

  • Hewton, Randolph (Canadian, 1888–1960)

    A founding member of the Beaver Hall Group and the Canadian Group of Painters, Hewton painted landscapes, figures, and portraits. His primary influences were French Impressionism and the work of Canadian painter A.Y. Jackson.

  • Hill, David Octavius (Scottish, 1802–1870)

    A prominent Edinburgh painter, and one half of the photography team Hill and Adamson, in which Hill’s role was largely that of artistic director. Known for pioneering artistic photographic portraiture and for early mastery of the calotype process, Hill and Adamson rank among the most important photographers of the nineteenth century.

  • Hill, Greg (Kayen’kahaka [Mohawk], Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, b. 1967)

    An artist and a curator specializing in Aboriginal art. A Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, Hill has led the Department of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, since 2007. (He was previously the gallery’s Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art.) His installation pieces are held in major national collections around the country.

  • Hirschfeld, Al (American, 1903–2003)

    Known for his linear calligraphic style, Hirschfeld was a caricaturist whose long and prolific career focused on portraits of celebrities. Hirschfield’s work was published widely, from the New York Times to Rolling Stone to Playboy and TV Guide

  • Hirst, Damien (British, b. 1965)

    Arguably the most famous living contemporary artist, whose talent for self-promotion is often regarded as a principal factor in his success. Hirst’s best-known work is probably The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991: a dead shark floating in a formaldehyde-filled vitrine. 

  • Hodgkins, Frances (New Zealander/British, 1869–1947)

    A watercolourist and art teacher who from 1901 studied and painted in Britain, North Africa, and Europe, spending more than ten years in Paris. Hodgkins settled in England, where she was associated with the Seven and Five Society, a group of modernist painters and sculptors whose work, like hers, moved from traditional styles toward abstraction.

  • Hodgson, Tom (Canadian, 1924–2006)

    An Abstract Expressionist painter, advertising art director, respected art teacher, and champion athlete raised on Centre Island, in Toronto Harbour. Hodgson was a member of Painters Eleven; he trained with Arthur Lismer at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto, and made action paintings that were often immense in scale.

  • Hofmann, Hans (German/American, 1880–1966)

    A major figure in Abstract Expressionism and a renowned teacher. Hofmann’s career began in Paris, where he moved to study in 1904. In 1915 he founded an art school in Munich that eventually drew international students, including the American Louise Nevelson, and taught there until the early 1930s, when he immigrated to the United States. Little of his early work survives.

  • Hokusai, Katsushika (Japanese, 1760–1849)

    One of the most prolific and influential artists of Edo Japan, who created some 30,000 drawings and illustrated 500 books during seventy years of artistic production. Hokusai’s output includes paintings, prints, and drawings that range from landscapes to erotica and draw from Chinese, Japanese, and Western traditions.

  • Holbein, Hans (German, 1497–1543)

    A painter, printmaker, and metalworker considered one of the masters of the Northern Renaissance. Holbein is particularly renowned for his portraiture. He painted the members of the Tudor nobility as a court artist in England from 1526 to 1528 and again from 1532 to 1543. His only surviving portrait of Henry VIII is among the most famous in his oeuvre. He died of the plague in London.

  • Holgate, Edwin (Canadian, 1892–1977)

    A painter, draftsman, and educator, best known for his portraits and for his woodcuts of figures set in landscapes. Holgate was a founding member of the Beaver Hall Group, a member of the Group of Seven, and a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters.

  • Hopper, Edward (American, 1882–1967)

    Though he was a commercial illustrator in his early career, Hopper is widely and best known as a realist painter of American scenes, those that conveyed a palpable sense of solitude, even isolation, with motionless figures in indoor or outdoor settings. Among his most iconic works are Nighthawks, 1942, and Early Sunday Morning, 1930.

  • Housser, Frederick (Canadian, 1889–1936)

    A writer, financial editor of the Toronto Daily Star, and art critic, who wrote the first book on the Group of Seven, in 1926. A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven was highly influential and hotly contested at the time of its publication. He was a good friend of the artists, a fellow theosophist, and, with his first wife, Bess (an artist who later married Lawren Harris), an early private collector of the group’s work. He died soon after his second marriage, to Yvonne McKague Housser.

  • Housser, Yvonne McKague (Canadian, 1897–1996)

    A painter associated with the Group of Seven, Housser was an art teacher and later a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters and the Federation of Canadian Artists. She studied painting in Paris in the early 1920s, and in Cape Cod in the 1950s with the Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann.

  • Houston, Alma (1926–1997)

    An important figure in Canadian art for her role in bringing international attention to Inuit art. From 1951 to 1962 she lived and worked in the Arctic with her husband, James Houston, who introduced printmaking to the Inuit. In 1981 she and her son John, born on Baffin Island, founded the Houston North Gallery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, which continues to promote Inuit art and culture.

  • Houston, James (Canadian, 1921–2005)

    An artist, writer, filmmaker, and civil administrator who with his wife, Alma Houston, was instrumental in the popularization of Inuit art. After studying art in Toronto and Paris, Houston spent fourteen years in the Canadian Arctic. In 1949, working with the Canadian Handicrafts Guild, he organized the first exhibition of Inuit art in southern Canada, held in Montreal.

  • Hudson, Wil (Canadian, 1929–2014)

    Born in Wisconsin, Wil Hudson settled in British Columbia, where he was recognized for fine letterpress printing. He was one of a number of artists who introduced printmaking techniques to the Cape Dorset print studio in the early 1970s.

  • Hultberg, John (American, 1922–2005)

    An artist of international education and broad influence. Hultberg trained in Mexico and the United States, taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and the Honolulu Academy of Arts (now the Honolulu Museum of Art), and lived in Paris from 1954 to 1959. Although often formally Surrealist, Hultberg’s paintings are too wide-ranging stylistically to align him with that movement.

  • Huret, Grégoire (French, 1606–1670)

    A designer and engraver of religious subjects, portraits, frontispieces, and ornamental designs. Huret entered the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in 1663. He is the author of a two-part text on questions of perspective and optics.

  • Heward, Prudence (Canadian, 1896–1947)

    A modernist painter recognized for her nuanced depictions of female subjects at the intersection of class, gender, and race, Heward was associated with the Beaver Hall Group, the Canadian Group of Painters, and the Contemporary Arts Society. She studied art in London and Paris, and later travelled to Italy with fellow artist and lifelong friend Isabel McLaughlin. Heward gained more recognition after the 1970s, as feminist art historians drew scholarly attention to Canadian women artists. (See Prudence Heward: Life & Work by Julia Skelly.)

  • Houle, Robert (Saulteaux First Nations, b. 1947)

    Painter, curator, teacher, and writer, known for increasing the visibility of contemporary First Nations art in Canada. Houle’s experience at Sandy Bay Residential School informs his colour field paintings, which gave him a conceptual language to express the opposing ideologies of Saulteaux-Ojibwa spirituality and Christianity. Houle served as the first Curator of Contemporary Indian Art at the Canadian Museum of History (1977–1980) and co-curated several landmark exhibitions of First Nations artists. He received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2015. (See Robert Houle: Life & Work by Shirley Madill.)

  • Hassam, Childe (American, 1859–1935)

    Oil painter, watercolourist, and illustrator regarded as a leading figure of American Impressionism. Hassam depicted both the growing urban landscapes and quiet rural scenes of his modernizing country, favouring the influence of William Morris Hunt and the tradition of painting en plein air. His well-known “flag series” depicts the American flag strung along city streets, such as Fifth Avenue in New York, during the First World War.

  • Hayes, Edith (British, 1860–1948)

    Painter and wood engraver born in Portsmouth, England. Hayes studied at the Royal Academy of Arts and painted, travelled, and exhibited throughout Europe, including in Paris in 1889 and Italy in 1892. Hayes was an original member of the St. Ives Arts Club, based in Cornwall, England.

  • Hiester Reid, Mary (American/Canadian, 1854–1921)

    Born in Pennsylvania, Reid immigrated to Toronto with her husband, George Agnew Reid. Perhaps best known for her floral paintings, Hiester Reid worked in oil on canvas and sometimes watercolour. She was an elected member of the Ontario Society of Artists and an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. She exhibited in Canada and the United States and was collected by major institutions and private collectors. After her death, she became the first woman artist to receive a solo show at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario).

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