“The development of self as a whole goes into your work. But it takes work. Work, work, work.”
– From “The Girls” by Rebecca Sisler, 1972
Frances Loring was a Canadian sculptor of American descent. Her outstanding architectural designs, war memorials and monuments quickly earned her a reputation as one of the first women known for her sculpture in the country. Loring helped change the way the medium was viewed in Canada and was instrumental in expanding the role of women in art.
She studied sculpture in Geneva, Munich and Paris, before enrolling at the Art Institute of Chicago and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In Chicago, she met Florence Wyle, another Canadian sculptor, who would become a lifelong friend and professional collaborator. In 1913, Loring came to Toronto, where she and Wyle eventually established a studio that became known as the “Salon of the Canadian Art World.” During World War I, the Canadian War Records office commissioned Loring to make sculptures of industrial workers on the home front. She then went on to complete a number of war memorials and other monumental commissions.
Loring helped found the Sculptors Society of Canada in 1928, and was active in the Federation of Canadian Artists, which led to the formation of the National Arts Council. In 1955, she received a gold medal from the University of Alberta and an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Toronto.