Artworks and Artists
Orson Wheeler
Born in Barnston, Quebec, 17 September 1902
Died in Montreal, Quebec, 15 October 1990

Orson Wheeler

Orson Wheeler studied art in Montreal at the Council of Arts and Manufactures, and in New York at the Cooper Union Art School, the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design, and the National Academy of Design from 1928 to1931. From 1931 he exhibited regularly with the Art Association of Montreal and the Royal Canadian Academy, and he became a member of the Sculptors' Society of Canada in 1941. In 1931 he began his teaching career in sculpture and architecture at Sir George Williams College (later Concordia University), where he continued into his retirement. Wheeler accepted commissions for sculptural portraits, and his portraits of six of the founding fathers of Sir George Williams are on permanent display at Concordia University. He received international acclaim for Negro Head (Tommy Simmons) when it was exhibited at the Tate Gallery, London, in 1938, and at the New York World's Fair in 1939. Wheeler deposited his diploma piece for the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Head of a Girl (Lucille Vaughan), in 1946. This portrait bust of the black Montrealer Lucille Vaughan is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.