"Sculptural form is not the imitation of natural form any more than poetry is the imitation of natural conversation . . . While a piece of sculpture may contain visual forms with which we are acquainted by daily experience, it is essentially a design worked out by means of the juxtaposition of masses in space, just as poetry is a design wrought by the sounds of words in time."
(Elizabeth Wyn Wood, 1935)
Inspired by the natural landscape of northern Ontario, Elizabeth Wyn Wood experimented with a variety of subject matter and unconventional materials. Primarily known for her modernist landscape sculptures, she also created portraits, figure studies, and monuments in pewter, aluminum, bronze, granite, and limestone.
Wood graduated in 1925 after four years at the Ontario College of Art (OCA), where she studied drawing, painting, and stagecraft with Arthur Lismer, commercial design and calligraphy with J.E.H. MacDonald, and sculpture with Emanuel Hahn. In September 1926, following her post-graduate year at OCA, she and Emanuel Hahn married. Beginning in November of that year, she spent two months at New York's Art Students League, studying with Robert Laurent and Edward McCarton. She was drawn to the art and design of ancient Egypt, whose simplicity and formalized nobility characterized all of Wood's work.
The National Gallery owns Wood's marble sculpture Passing Rain (1928), for which she won the Lord Willingdon Award in 1929, and her portrait Munitions Worker (1944). Other works include the Welland-Crowland War Memorial (1939), executed in granite from Wood's full-sized clay model. A founding member of the Sculptors' Society of Canada and a key figure in the establishment of a support system for artists, Elizabeth Wyn Wood taught at Toronto's Central Technical School for twenty-eight years.