• Haacke, Hans (German, b.1936)

    A leading exponent of Institutional Critique, a form of Conceptual art that targets the ideologies and power structures of art institutions. Haacke is known for problematizing relationships between art institutions and corporate donors. He was awarded the top prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale, where his mixed-media installation, entitled Germania, explored the role of the German pavilion in promoting nationalism at the Biennale during the Nazi era.

  • 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

    The Hague School was 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. Their style is characterized by sombre tones used to depict everyday scenes of fishermen, farmers, windmills, and seascapes. It 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.

  • halftone printing

    A photomechanical process to reproduce photographs in print, developed in the mid- to late-1800s by inventors including Canadian William Leggo, as well as Charles-Guillaume Petit, Frederic Ives, and Georg Meisenbach. It involves using a screen to translate a photographic image into a pattern of dots. The process revolutionized the illustrated press as, for the first time, photographs could be reproduced on the same page as type. The first commercially printed halftone photograph was published in Canada: an image of Prince Arthur on the cover of the Canadian Illustrated News on October 30, 1869.

  • Hals, Frans (Dutch, c.1582–1666)

    A Baroque painter, Hals is known for his portraits, both of individuals and of groups. Over the course of his career his style became increasingly freer, and he experimented with thin paint and loose, rapidly applied brush strokes, a technique that made his late work inspiring to many painters in the modern era.

  • 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.

  • Hamilton, Mary Riter (Canadian, 1873–1954)

    After studying painting in Berlin and Paris in the early years of the twentieth century, Mary Riter Hamilton established herself as an artist in Europe before returning to Canada. During the First World War, she petitioned to be sent to the front lines as an official war artist but was denied. Instead, she travelled to Europe in 1918 to spend three years painting the war’s aftermath. She produced over three hundred works in an Impressionist style, depicting battlefields in France and Belgium.

  • Hammond, Melvin Ormond (Canadian, 1876–1934)

    A Canadian journalist, editor, photographer, and author, Melvin Ormond Hammond spent most of his career at Toronto’s Globe newspaper. He is best known for his photographs of Canadian monuments, memorials, and prominent people, which he exhibited at the Canadian National Exhibition and elsewhere in Toronto. In his position as the arts editor of the Globe, Hammond promoted the work of Canadian artists and writers.

  • 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, 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

    Combining geometric abstraction and intense colour, hard-edge abstraction was first used to describe the work of some Californian artists in the 1960s, although the style can be seen in the earlier work of Piet Mondrian and Joseph Albers. The term was coined by the art critic Jules Langster in 1959. Noted hard-edge painters include Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly.

  • 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.

  • Harrington, Richard (German/Canadian, 1911–2005)

    German-born Harrington immigrated to Toronto in the 1920s and became one of Canada’s most successful photojournalists. Best known for his images of the Canadian Arctic, Harrington travelled to more than one hundred countries and published at least 2,400 photo essays over the course of his distinguished career. In 2001 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

  • Harris, Lawren P. (Canadian, 1910–1994)

    The eldest son of Lawren S. Harris of the Group of Seven, Lawren P. Harris was best known as a landscape and, later, abstract painter. As an official war artist during the Second World War he documented the Italian front. From 1946 to 1975 he was the director of the School of Fine and Applied Arts at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, where he worked to popularize modern art in the Maritimes.

  • Harris, Lawren S. (Canadian, 1885–1970)

    A founding member of the Group of Seven in Toronto in 1920, Harris was widely considered its unofficial leader. Unlike other members of the group, Harris moved away from painting representational landscapes, first to abstracted landscapes and then to 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.

  • Harris, Robert (Welsh/Canadian, 1849–1919)

    Born in Tyn-y-Groes, Wales, Harris immigrated to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, with his family in 1856. He studied at art schools in Boston, London, and Paris and quickly became one of the best-known portrait painters in Canada in the late 1800s, especially known for the group portrait The Fathers of Confederation, 1884. He was president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts from 1893 to 1906.

  • Harrison, Elizabeth (Canadian, 1907–2001)

    A painter and teacher, Harrison is the author of the art education text Self-Expression Through Art (1960). An English immigrant to Canada, in 1931 she settled in Kingston, Ontario, where she taught art at Queen’s University with André Bieler. Harrison depicted scenes from the home front during the Second World War, such as Lunchtime, Cafeteria at the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, 1944.

  • Harry Fonesca (1946–2006)
  • Hart House Gallery

    Now the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, part of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Hart House Gallery is an exhibition venue and collecting institution associated with University College at the University of Toronto. Current acquisitions for the collection focus on work by living Canadian artists, especially emerging and mid-career artists of First Nations and culturally diverse backgrounds.

  • Hart, Jim (7idansuu) (Haida, b.1952)

    A leading Haida artist and chief of the Eagle Clan, Hart carved with Bill Reid in the early 1980s, working as an assistant on monumental sculpture projects. In later years he created his own sculptures, totem poles, prints, and jewellery; his most significant projects include The Three Watchmen, 2011, at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and a totem pole he raised in his own community, Old Massett, on Haida Gwaii in 1999.

  • 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.

  • Hartigan, Grace (American, 1922–2008)

    An Abstract Expressionist painter and a member of the New York School of artists, poets, dancers, and musicians in the 1950s and 1960s, Hartigan was part of the later generation of American abstractionists, after Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. She believed in the emotional content of painting as created by the visible gesture of the artist. After 1952, Hartigan developed a mature style that fluidly combined abstraction with figuration and recognizable objects.

  • 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.

  • Harvey, George (British, 1846–1910)

    A British artist who mainly produced genre paintings and pastoral landscapes. He graduated from the South Kensington School of Art in London before settling in Nova Scotia, where he served as the first headmaster of the Victoria School of Art and Design (now NSCAD University). He was an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • Harwood Museum of Art

    Located in Taos, New Mexico, the Harwood Museum of Art was founded by Burt and Elizabeth Harwood in 1916, and became part of the University of New Mexico in 1935. Originally part of a compound serving various functions, including as Taos’s first library, the museum shifted its focus to the work of practicing American artists following the Second World War. Its collection includes pieces from the nineteenth century to the present, including many works by the Taos Moderns.

  • Harwood, June (American, 1933–2015)

    An Abstract Expressionist painter, Harwood is best known for her stylistic contribution to hard-edge painting, a term coined by her artist-critic husband, Jules Langster, in 1959. Harwood’s style consisted of large flat geometric shapes, and she used tape to achieve clean lines and edges.

  • Hassam, Childe (American, 1859–1935)

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

  • 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.

  • Hatfield, Frances (1924–2004)

    A British Columbia artist who worked mainly in painting and pottery. Born in Kelowna, Hatfield studied at the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design) and the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University). She taught pottery classes out of her home studio near Naramata, BC, serving as a mentor to many within the Okanagan arts community.

  • Haudenosaunee

    The Haudenosaunee, or People of the Longhouse, form a democratic confederacy of five Iroquois nations consisting of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. In 1722, the Tuscarora nation joined the confederacy, which became known as Six Nations to English speakers. Each nation has its own language and traditional territory, spread throughout New York and parts of Quebec and eastern Ontario. The Six Nations of the Grand River reserve, where all nations are represented, is located near Brantford, Ontario, on the still-disputed Haldimand Tract land.

  • 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.

  • Haworth, Peter (Canadian, 1889–1986)

    Born in Lancaster, England, Haworth immigrated to Canada in 1923 and became director of art at the Central Technical School in Toronto. He is known for his stained-glass work and his painted landscapes and coastal views. During the Second World War, Haworth and his wife, Bobs Cogill Haworth, were commissioned by the Canadian government to document the activities of the armed forces in British Columbia.

  • Hawthorn, Audrey (Canadian, 1917–2000)

    Born in California and raised in New York City, Hawthorn studied anthropology at Yale. Her husband, anthropologist Harry Hawthorn, joined the faculty at the University of British Columbia in 1947, and Hawthorn became a curator. She worked closely with the Department of Anthropology, later teaching museum studies. 

  • Hawthorn, Harry (Canadian, 1910–2006)

    An anthropologist, Hawthorn studied at Yale University before joining the faculty of the University of British Columbia in 1947. He went on to run several research projects that informed government policy in Canada, and, with his wife Audrey, he played a leading role in developing the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. 

  • 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).

  • Hayes, Edith (British, 1860–1948)

    A 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.

  • Hayter Gallery

    Part of a scattering of short-lived commercial art galleries to appear in Toronto in the late 1950s, the Hayter Gallery lasted a single season. It was located at 77 Hayter Street in a small neighbourhood around Gerard Street West that was a hub of the Toronto art and culture scene in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Hayter, Stanley William (British 1901–1988)

    The operator of the Paris printmaking studio Atelier 17, Hayter was a teacher and artist. At his workshop, he welcomed avant-garde European and North American artists, maintaining a social circle and working environment for experimental printmaking techniques as well as discussions about modern art: at various times, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, and Alexander Calder all worked at the atelier. Hayter’s background as a research chemist allowed him to develop innovative techniques, bringing printmaking into the vocabulary of modern artists.

  • 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.

  • Heap of Birds, Edgar (Southern Cheyenne/Arapaho, b. 1954)

    An artist known for his text-based public art signage and large-scale drawings that comment on contemporary Native American experience and the history of settler violence. Heap of Birds’s site-specific works have been commissioned for Purchase College in New York, downtown Minnesota, and the Denver Art Museum. He has taught at several institutions, including Yale University and Rhode Island School of Design in the United States and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. 

  • 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 Höch, Heartfield developed photomontage, combining images from mass media to support his political perspective.

  • HeavyShield, Faye (Káínaiwa-Blood, Kainai First Nation, b. 1953)

    A sculptor and installation artist influenced by the geography of southern Alberta and the Kainai community where she was born and raised. HeavyShield utilizes repetition and minimalist forms to reference prairie grass, river currents, wind, and the complications of the body, residential school experiences, and language. She is invested in youth-based community art projects and was a facilitator of The Shawls Project, 2016, which combined dance shawls with Edmonton audioscapes to reflect on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

  • 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.

  • Hébert, Henri (Canadian, 1884–1950)

    A prominent sculptor and a founder of the Sculptors Society of Canada, Hébert was central to the creation of Le Nigog (1918–19), an avant-garde art and literature review, and was a proponent of Quebec modernism. He was the son of Louis-Philippe Hébert, a significant nineteenth-century Quebec sculptor.

  • Hébert, Louis-Philippe (Canadian, 1850–1917)

    One of the most important sculptors in Canada in the late 1800s, Hébert began his career by apprenticing with Napoléon Bourassa, and he later studied in Paris. He became known for creating bronze monuments, including several high-profile commissions for Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the Legislative Building in Quebec.

  • Heckel, Erich (German 1883–1970)

    A founder of the influential Expressionist group Die Brüke (The Bridge, active 1905–13), in Dresden, Germany, Erich Heckel was a painter, printmaker, and sculptor. Before the First World War, Heckel was best known for woodcuts of nudes and landscapes featuring bold outlines and vivid colours. After the war, his colour palette became more subdued, his paintings more conventional. Heckel was declared a degenerate artist by the ruling Nazi party in 1937.

  • 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.

  • Heinrich, Theodore Allen (American, 1910–1981)

    An art historian, curator, and educator, Theodore Allen Heinrich studied in the U.S. and the U.K. and worked as a teacher before joining the U.S. Army in 1943. He served in intelligence until 1945, when he became an officer in the Monuments, Fine Art, and Archives (MFAA) Section, helping to coordinate the recovery and restitution of works of art that had been looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. In 1950 he returned to the U.S., holding curatorial positions there until becoming the director of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto from 1955 to 1962. Following his curatorial and directorial career, Heinrich held positions as a visiting professor of art history at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina, from 1964 to 1965, and as a professor at York University in Toronto, from 1966 until 1981.

  • 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 (Scottish/Canadian, 1831–1913)

    Scottish-born Henderson immigrated to Montreal in 1855, where he launched his career in photography and would become one of Canada’s preeminent landscape photographers. His views of Quebec and Ontario were especially prized, and ranged from romantic scenes of wilderness to records of human life and industry. Late in his career Henderson helped establish the Canadian Pacific Railway’s photographic department.

  • 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.

  • Hepworth, Barbara (British, 1903–1975)

    Hepworth was a modernist sculptor and early English abstractionist. Like Henry Moore, a close friend since their student days at the Royal College of Art in London, she engaged in direct carving, where the sculptor works from the form suggested by the materials rather than a pre-established model. Her mature work is characterized by pierced and perforated forms that bring attention to the voids contained within the work.

  • 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.

  • Here and Now Gallery

    The first gallery of Toronto art dealer Dorothy Cameron, Here and Now Gallery was founded in 1959. Focused on showing the work of contemporary Canadian artists, the gallery was part of the emergence of Toronto’s commercial art scene in the 1960s. By 1962 it had changed its name to the eponymous Dorothy Cameron Gallery.

  • 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.

  • Heron, Patrick (British, 1920–1999)

    An abstract artist, thinker, and art critic, Heron produced vivid paintings that were rooted in the colours, shapes, and movement that he observed while living in Cornwall, England. Stylistically and geographically, he is connected to the St. Ives School—the community of modernist-leaning artists who settled in the Cornwall area after the Second World War. Heron is notable for gravitating toward vibrant colours and for executing what he described as “wobbly hard-edge paintings,” a signature style that he distinguished from the era’s more typical hard-edge conventions.

  • Hershman Leeson, Lynn (American, b.1941)

    An artist and filmmaker who was a central figure in the emergence of new media art in the 1980s. In her earlier performance work of the 1970s, Hershman Leeson developed an alter ego named Roberta Breitmore, who participated in everyday activities, such as obtaining a credit card and joining Weight Watchers. Hershman Leeson’s new media works focus on the moral and ethical issues surrounding the relationship between people and technology.

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • 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. He was one of William Brymner’s many students at the school of the Art Association of Montreal, and later studied at the Académie Julian in Paris. From 1921 to 1924 he was the director of the school of the AAM, where he encouraged his students to experiment with the bright, assertive colours and decorative compositions that he favoured in his own art.

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

    Born in Pennsylvania, Hiester 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). (See Mary Hiester Reid: Life & Work by Andrea Terry.)

  • Highway, Tomson (Cree, b.1951)

    A renowned playwright, novelist, children’s author, and musician, Tomson Highway was born in northern Manitoba. At the age of six the Canadian government removed him from his family and placed him in residential school. He later became a social worker, working on reserves and in cities throughout Ontario. With wit and sensitivity, Highway examines Indigenous experiences—both fictional and autobiographical—in his award-winning plays and other writings. He was the first Indigenous author to be named a Member of the Order of Canada (1994).

  • 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, George W. (Canadian, 1862–1934)

    One of the leading Canadian sculptors of the early twentieth century, Hill was known for his war memorials in the French academic style. Born in the Eastern Township of Shipton in Quebec, Hill studied sculpture at the École des beaux-arts and Académie Julian in Paris from 1889 to 1894. Returning to Montreal, Hill went on to produce numerous major monuments primarily in Quebec and Ontario.

  • Hill, Greg (Kayen’kahaka [Mohawk]/French, 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.

  • Hill, Tom (Seneca, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, b. 1943)

    An artist, curator, and policy-maker who played a major role in the ongoing process of forging space for Indigenous voices in the Canadian art world. In 1968 Hill became the first Indigenous intern at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and that same year took a position as cultural director in the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada). From 1982 to 2004, he served as museum director at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario, where he curated many innovative exhibitions about Indigenous identities.

  • Hilton, Roger (British, 1911–1975)

    An abstract painter associated with the St. Ives School. After Hilton moved to Cornwall, England, in the mid-1960s, the shapes in his paintings began to bear a closer resemblance to boats, water, and sea forms. In his later career, he produced more figurative works, specifically female nudes.

  • Hirayama, Ikuo (Japanese, 1930–2009)

    A painter known for creating works that depicted the Silk Road trade route network in the Nihonga style. Hirayama received numerous significant cultural honours (including a membership in the French Legion of Honour, which he received in 1996). In Japan, there are two museums dedicated to the work and legacy of the artist: the Hirayama Ikuo Silk Road Museum, founded in 2004 in Hokuto Yamanashi Prefecture, which showcases paintings by Hirayama alongside selections from his own personal collection; and the Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art, which is located on Ikuchijima Island, the artist’s place of birth.

  • Hiroshige, Utagawa (Japanese, 1797–1858)

    An influential Japanese printmaker regarded as a master of landscape composition in colour woodblock prints, Hiroshige was one of the last great practitioners of Japanese ukiyo-e, or “images of the floating world,” a genre that emerged out of economic growth and lifestyles of leisure. Some of his best-known series include Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō, 1833–34, and One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 1856–58. Hiroshige’s flattened composition style influenced the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

  • 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

  • Hirshhorn, Joseph (Latvian /American, 1899–1981)

    Born in Latvia, Joseph Hirshhorn was a financier and mining entrepreneur who worked as a Wall Street stockbroker in New York City until just prior to the crash of 1929. Afterward, he relocated to Canada, where he made a fortune in the 1950s by staking the initial claims to what would become the Elliot Lake, Ontario, uranium mines. An avid art collector, Hirshhorn endowed the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., which opened in 1974 with the donation of six thousand works from his collection; an additional six thousand were donated following his death.

  • 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. 

  • history painting

    Introduced as part of the hierarchy of academic painting by the French Royal Academy in the seventeenth century, history painting was the dominant style of European painting from the Renaissance until the nineteenth century. Monumental in scale and narrative, and often depicting a moral lesson, history painting initially drew on Greek and Roman history and mythology, as well as the Bible, for source material, later including scenes from more recent or contemporary history. In nineteenth-century Britain, history painting served as a way to present scenes showing the extent of the Empire. Today artists such as Kent Monkman have used history painting to explore the legacy of colonialism.

  • Hitchcock, Sharon (Kinta-Way) (Haida, 1951–2009)

    An artist from Old Massett in Haida Gwaii, Hitchcock had a wide and diverse practice, creating argillite carvings, paintings, illustrations, and an animated film. She was one of the artists who worked with Bill Reid on Loo Taas, 1986.

  • Ho Tzu Nyen (Singaporean, b.1976)

    A Singaporean artist and filmmaker whose work incorporates texts, myths, and artifacts as it explores Southeast Asian history and society. He represented Singapore at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 with a video installation, The Cloud of Unknowing, and since 2020 has produced projects like Hotel Aporia, which examine the philosophical work of the Kyoto School, a group of twentieth-century scholars from Japan.

  • Hobbema, Meindert (Dutch, 1638–1709)

    A landscape painter of wooded scenes, gently winding rural roads, and forest entrances dappled with light. As a teenager, Hobbema trained in the studio of eminent Dutch Golden Age painter Jacob van Ruisdael. Hobbema was not well known during his lifetime and died a pauper, but he gained recognition from the eighteenth century onward, especially for later paintings such as Avenue of Trees in Middelharnis, 1689.

  • Höch, Hannah (German, 1889–1978)

    A Dada artist known for her political collages and photomontages. Within the male-dominated Berlin Dada movement, Höch created art that appropriated, fragmented, and recombined imagery from mass media to critique popular culture, gender roles, and the Weimar Republic after the First World War. In her examination of societal gender roles, Höch questioned the emergent ideal of the New Woman and its limitations.

  • Hockney, David (British, b.1937)

    Hockney gained renown for his paintings of Southern California swimming pools, which depict a life of leisure in the Los Angeles of the 1960s. He uses a stylized form of realism and bright, clear colours in portraits and other figurative work, much of it autobiographical. Although he has experimented with other media, including photomontage, video, drawing, and digital painting, Hockney remains best known as a painter. He has lived primarily in Los Angeles since 1978, though he announced his intention to move to Normandy, France, in 2019.

  • 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)

    As both an Abstract Expressionist painter and a teacher who influenced a generation of artists, Hans Hofmann was a key figure in the American art world following the Second World War. Trained in Munich, where he grew up, and in Paris, Hofmann began his career as a Cubist painter and showed in Europe in the early part of the twentieth century. His style moved through Expressionism, and by 1939 he was creating the Abstract Expressionist works that would secure his place in art historical narratives. Hofmann’s later work is defined by his bold use of colour and gesture, and by a sense of the Cubist structure he developed as a young painter.

  • 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.

  • Holm, Bill (American, 1925–2020)

    Professor emeritus of art history and curator emeritus of Northwest Coast Indian Art at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, Washington, Holm is best known for his book Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form (1965), a work credited with establishing a new vocabulary for First Nations art in the Pacific Northwest. 

  • Holm, Hanya (German/American, 1893–1992)

    An influential modern dancer, teacher, and choreographer of Broadway musicals, Holm was a major figure in shaping American modern dance. She studied and later taught at the Mary Wigman Central Institute in Dresden and in 1931 was sent to New York City to establish a branch of the Wigman school. Holm emphasized emotional expression emerging from a more conscious technical expertise. In 1939 she became a U.S. citizen and the first concert dancer to broadcast her work on television. Holm was the first choreographer to copyright a dance.

  • Holmes, Robert (Canadian, 1861–1930)

    Holmes was a painter, illustrator, and teacher of drawing at several Ontario arts colleges, including Upper Canada College and the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University). He is best known for his watercolour paintings of wildflowers depicted with accompanying foliage.

  • 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.

  • Horst, Louis (American, 1884–1964)

    A pianist, composer, choreographer, and teacher, Horst was one of the first to teach choreography as a discipline and served at many of the most influential schools of modern dance and music in the United States, including Neighborhood Playhouse and Juilliard in New York and Bennington College, Vermont. Horst musically directed the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts in Los Angeles from 1915 to 1925 and worked with Martha Graham Dance Company in New York from 1926 to 1948. In 1964 he received the Heritage Award from the National Dance Association.

  • Houle, Robert (Saulteaux, Kaa-wii-kwe-tawang-kak, 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.)

  • Houle, Terrance (Káínai, b.1975)

    A Calgary-based interdisciplinary artist and director whose works in performance, photography, and film examine Indigenous identity and representation. Sometimes humorous, Houle’s work is also trenchant and often produced in collaboration with Indigenous communities and other subjects, as in his multi-year project Ghost Days, which involves conjuring colonial and Indigenous spirits. He has exhibited across Canada and internationally.

  • 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, James Houston, 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.

  • Hsieh, Tehching (Taiwanese American, b.1950)

    A Taiwanese artist based in New York who is best known for his five durational One Year Performances that blurred the boundaries between art and life as he lived in a cage for a year (1978–79), punched a clock every hour for another (1980–81), lived exclusively outdoors (1981–82), spent a year tied to performance artist Linda Montano with an eight-foot-long rope (1983–84), and vowed not to make or engage with art for a full year (1985–86). His work has had a profound impact on performance artists including Marina Abramović.

  • Hubbard, R.H. (Canadian, 1916–1989)

    Robert Hamilton (R.H.) Hubbard was an art historian and the first curator of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, where he was hired in 1947. He served as the gallery’s chief curator from 1954 to 1978. A specialist in French-Canadian sculpture, Hubbard wrote extensively on the development of Canadian art.

  • Hudson River School

    A nationalistic and Romantic school of landscape painting that arose informally in the mid-nineteenth century when increasing industry threatened to change the natural environment of the United States. The majority of Hudson River School painters were based in New York, often depicting the Catskill and Adirondack mountains. These painters embedded a sense of drama, the sublime, and the monumental into their portrayals of nature, transforming landscape into a symbol of the intangible sense of God’s creation. Thomas Cole and Asher Brown Durand were among the school’s leading members.

  • Hudson, Dan (Canadian, b. 1959)

    A video artist, painter, sculptor, and former photojournalist, Hudson uses scientific research, personal journeys, and visual anthropology to consider humanity’s relationship to the environment. He methodically documents the earth’s planetary motions and presents them in relation to the larger cosmos.

  • 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.

  • Huebler, Douglas (American, 1924–1997)

    A Michigan-born artist best known for his use of documentary photography, often combining text and image to conduct thought-provoking explorations on the nature of photography. He was closely associated with the Minimalist and Conceptual art movements of the mid-twentieth century, and he taught visual arts at Bradford College, Massachusetts, and Harvard University. From 1976 to 1988, he served as the dean of the art school at the California Institute of Arts.

  • Hughes, E.J. (Canadian, 1913–2007)

    Known for his stylized paintings of British Columbia landscapes and seascapes, the Vancouver-born painter and muralist Hughes was often likened to Emily Carr, thanks to his distinctive renderings of the natural environment on the West Coast. Hughes enrolled at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts in 1929, where he took classes with Frederick H. Varley and Jock MacDonald; after graduating, he did a brief stint in the military and eventually, in 1941, became the Canadian army’s first official service artist. Hughes was chosen as the first recipient of the Emily Carr Scholarship in 1947 and joined the Canadian Group of Painters shortly after that. In 2001 he was made a member of the Order of Canada.

  • 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.

  • Humanism

    The contemporary definition of humanism is a system of ethics centred on human needs and the value of human life. Humanists believe that morality comes from thinking critically and rationally about what it means to value human beings. In the West, earlier forms of humanism can be traced to the Roman Republic, where humanitas was used to refer, alternatively, to good will toward others and an education in the liberal arts. This latter conception of humanism is connected to the intellectual disciplines of the humanities.

  • Humphrey, Jack (Canadian, 1901–1967)

    Known for his modernist cityscapes and harbour scenes, Humphrey was a painter, draughtsman, and watercolourist based in Saint John, New Brunswick. He was a member of various groups dedicated to promoting modern art in Canada, including the Canadian Group of Painters. Along with Miller Brittain, he was one of two non-Québécois artists who belonged to Montreal’s Contemporary Art Society in the 1940s.

  • Hunt, Barb (Canadian, b.1950)

    A multi-disciplinary textile artist based in British Columbia, Hunt is notable for work that focuses on the devastation of war. To comment on the human cost of war, she has used pink knitting yarn to recreate objects such as antipersonnel landmines and painstakingly embroidered delicate designs onto used camouflage-pattern uniforms. Hunt has also worked with hard materials, such as steel.

  • Hunt, Henry (Kwakwaka’wakw, 1923–1985)

    The son-in-law of Kwakwaka’wakw carver Naka’pankam (Mungo Martin), Hunt moved to Victoria to carve in Thunderbird Park at the British Columbia Provincial Museum (now the Royal BC Museum) in 1954. After years of working there with Naka’pankam, he became the master carver upon Naka’pankam’s death in 1962, and he went on to mentor several artists.

  • 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.

  • Hurlbut, Spring (Canadian, b.1952)

    A Toronto-based conceptual photographer whose practice emerged in the 1980s. Her work engages with themes of life, death, and mortality, as well as cultures of display within museum spaces. It is represented in major national collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

  • Hydrocal

    Hydrocal is a mixture of plaster and a small amount of cement that stays malleable and sets gradually.

  • Hyndman, Robert (Canadian, 1915–2009)

    A prominent Ottawa portrait and landscape artist, Hyndman was an official Canadian war artist during the Second World War. Serving first as a Spitfire pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) 411 Squadron, Hyndman later depicted some of his more harrowing flying experiences and completed a series of portraits of wartime RCAF personnel. He taught at the Ottawa School of Art for over thirty years and held teaching posts at Alberta’s currently named Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

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