"We can only develop an understanding of the great forces behind the organization of nature by endlessly searching the outer manifestations. And we can only know ourselves better and still better by this search. There is an indefinable solidity that penetrates the work and a fine humility comes through the enlarged vision of the eternal wonders that surround us."
(L.L. FitzGerald, 1942)
L.L. (Lionel LeMoine) FitzGerald was an accomplished draftsman, painter, printmaker and art educator. His subjects arose from his detailed observations of nature in Winnipeg and Manitoba, where he worked throughout his life.
FitzGerald took evening classes at A.S. Kesztheyli's Art School in 1909, and from 1912 he found employment designing window displays, interior decorating, and painting theatre backdrops. From 1913 he exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and held his first solo exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1921. Feeling the need for more training, he travelled to New York to study at the Art Students League with the Canadian-born artist Boardman Robinson and with Kenneth Hayes Miller during the winter of 1921-22.
Returning to Winnipeg, he worked in commercial design and became assistant to G. Keith Gebhardt, Principal of the Winnipeg School of Art in 1924, before his own appointment as Principal (1929-49). Since teaching made considerable demands on his time, his art developed slowly and methodically. Drawing the Manitoba landscape was as important as painting, and he exhibited primarily in Winnipeg and Toronto.
Following an exhibition of his work in Toronto in 1928, FitzGerald was invited to exhibit with the Group of Seven. He became a member in 1932, just before the Group's expansion into the Canadian Group of Painters, of which FitzGerald was a charter member.
In 1942 FitzGerald first sketched on the West Coast, where he would return during the winters of 1947 and 1948.