TABLE OF CONTENTSCollection Summary
Frederick H. Varley Photograph Collection:
Frederick H. Varley, best known as a member of the Group of Seven, was born in Sheffield, England, in 1881, the son of Samuel James Varley, a lithographer, and Lucy Barstow. At age eleven, Varley was enrolled by his father at the Sheffield School of Art, and from 1900 to 1902 he studied at the at the Koninklijke Akademie voor Shone Kunsten (Académie royale des beaux-arts) in Antwerp. In 1910, Varley married Maud Pinter and two years later immigrated to Canada on the advice of future Group of Seven member, Arthur Lismer (1885-1969), who had also grown up in Sheffield. Once settled in Toronto, Varley was employed by the design firm Grip Ltd., where he worked alongside Lismer, and Tom Thomson (1877-1917). In January 1918, he was hired as an official war artist and accompanied Canadian troops to France and Belgium. During this period, Varley produced one of his best-known paintings documenting the First World War, For What?
In 1920 Varley became a member of the Group of Seven, participating in several of the group's exhibitions before moving with Maud and their children, Dorothy, James, John, and Peter, to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he became Head of Drawing and Painting at the School of Decorative and Applied Arts. In 1932 he moved to Lynn Valley, British Columbia, and the following year he established, along with fellow artist J.W.G. MacDonald (1897-1960), the short-lived British Columbia College of Arts, which closed in 1935. Having separated from Maud, Varley returned to eastern Canada, living for several years in Ottawa before moving to Toronto in 1944. Varley spent the last seventeen years of his life in Markham, Ontario, and died in Toronto in 1969.
The collection consists of 111 photographs (103 b&w and 8 colour) depicting members of the Frederick H. Varley family, including Varley's father and mother, Samuel and Lucy; his sisters, Lillian and Ethel; and his wife Maud and their four children, Dorothy, James, John, and Peter. Many of the photographs show family members engaged in activities such as boating, camping, and on summer trips. Two photographic portraits in the collection are modern copies of photographs taken by the celebrated Canadian photographer John Vanderpant (1884-1939).
Source of title: Supplied title based on contents of the fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Norma Varley, granddaughter of Frederick H. Varley, in 2020.
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Frederick H. Varley Photograph Collection must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Fonds level description available.
Accruals: No further accurals are expected.
Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Philip Dombowsky in 2021.
[Title of item], Frederick H. Varley Photograph Collection, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
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