What Readers Are Saying About Clara Harris

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being the Curator of Clara Isabella Harris’ collection is the ongoing contact with collectors and readers.  Their art, insights, questions, stories and photographs not only help to build this archive but enrich it.   And this is the fabric of the “Clara” community.

 

Have a look at some of the contributions so far:

 

As you will see when you review the Clara Isabella Website, Clara’s art is evocative on its own merits, but there’s also a huge historic connection here.

RITA DAVIES,

Chair of Ontario Arts Council

Cultural Consultant, Planner and Strategist

Former Executive Director of Toronto Culture

Toronto, ON

www.arts.on.ca/about-us/board-of-directors/rita-davies,-chair

 

I know the areas of many of Clara’s works, having spent my summers south of Bancroft, Ontario.  The Little Falls on the Humber at Lambton are gone, victim to the re-engineering of the Humber by the Toronto Conservation Authority following Hurricane Hazel.  I would like to do more with Clara’s images of the Humber and other local ones as they are far too important to let slide away.  Her images could be developed as material for a lecture and or walking tours.

I think I recall the 1987 exhibition with Paraskeva Clark et al.

MADELEINE MCDOWELL,

Historian, Artist, Environmentalist,

Lambton House, Toronto, ON

www.lambtonhouse.org

Thank you for sharing Clara’s work with me.  Far too much of our heritage has been destroyed and you are to be commended for keeping her work “alive”.  

MIKE FILEY,

Writer, Columnist Toronto Sun, Toronto, ON

www.torontosun.com/author/mike-filey

 

I am putting together a walking tour for our annual Doors Open event: the Meadowvale Historical Art Walk.  The tour’s focus is on the activities of artists in the village in the early 20th Century. During my research I was told to get in touch with you to learn more about Clara Harris as she should be included in the tour.

I really enjoyed doing the tours and it was a real pleasure to highlight Clara’s work.  It definitely needs to be shared with the public.

ELAINE EIGL,

Heritage Coordinator,

City of Mississauga, ON.

www.mississauga.ca

Thanks for sending this information to me it’s a perfect fit for The Old Mill Inn’s 100th anniversary.  Pleased include pictures and an historical write-up for our blog.

NATALIE BAUER,

Director of Marketing and Events, Old Mill Inn, Toronto, ON

oldmilltoronto.com

It’s always heartening to learn of other curators working to promote women artists.  Clara Harris is a new name to me. Thank you for introducing me to her work.

DEBRA ANTONCIC, PHD,

Curator, Riverbrink Art Museum,

Queenston, ON

http://riverbrink.org

Clara’s painting “Winter in Haliburton” is most intriguing.  I recognize the location. I must say her work is well done. Best of luck with your worthy research project. 

STEPHEN HILL,

Curator, Haliburton Highlands Museum, Haliburton, ON

www.haliburtonhighlandsmuseum

I’m beginning to hear back from people in the Congregation about Clara Harris.  This is creating quite a buzz.

REVEREND JESSICA MCCRAE

Minister, Humbercrest United Church, Toronto, ON

www.humbercrest.ca

Thank you for your comments to my blog piece on Emily Carr.  I suspect you are right about Clara Harris and numerous other female artists of the time.  I believe it was in part a sign of the times and at that time in history women were still without many rights let alone taken seriously as artists.  I wish you the best in your research.

DEBORAH CATTON,

deborahcatton.com/.../on-being-a-female-canadian-artist-and-the-story-of-emily-carr

Your website on Clara Isabella Harris (nee Perry) is attractive and interesting; the information you provide will be meaningful to students and researchers.  Please keep us informed of any other work covering women artists in Canada. Your Wikipedia site is also to be commended.

MELINDA REINHART,

Concordia Canadian Women Artists History Initiative, Montreal, QC

cwahi.concordia.ca

 

 

What a wonderful tribute you have created for Clara Isabella Harris.  Her painting of Bala Falls in the winter is absolutely stunning. 

LINDA JACKSON-HUTTON & JACK HUTTON,

Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Bala, ON

balamus@muskoka.com

I think you have a national treasure. The linocuts are a real surprise.  She was an excellent colourist and her compositional skills rival anything the Group of

Seven produced!  Your website is one of the best artist profiles I’ve seen and I enjoyed it very much.

DAVID P.

 

I see that Clara painted a number of scenes around Nogie’s Creek. Is the location of her “Men in Red Boat and Birch Trees” (Boat Section of the site) Nogies creek?  If so, we had our family cottage on that bay from 1955 through 2007.

WAYNE STICKLEY,

Waterdown, ON

 

I very much enjoyed your website.  I first heard about Clara Harris when an art gallery which featured about 20 of her paintings was closing 15 years ago. My mom and I bought as many as we could afford.  I admire the fact that you were able to collect the majority of her work.

JOANNA M.

 

I have been trying to track down more information about Clara Harris for many years. It’s been like searching in a black hole. I have 10 of her paintings. I purposely purchased those spanning the 1920’s - 50’s to see the evolution in her style. We have a Jack Pine with a cabin behind it that could sit alongside any Group of Seven painting.

LES M.

St. Catharines, ON

 

Here at Maple Bay, on Vancouver Island, we’re in fall mode.  Having looked at Clara’s works and then driving through the countryside the colours and shapes of nature seem so much more alive.  Her work reopens your eyes, quite a thing.  Thank you Clara for being there to record that moment of Canadiana for us to enjoy 70 years later as if it was today.

JEFFREY B.,

Artist, Vancouver Island, B.C.

 

I operate a summer art school at the mill in Port Hope (Journey Through the Arts).  My father has been actively collecting sketches and photos of the Port Hope Art School period and would be happy to share information and photos with you. He said that J.W. Beatty ran the OCA summer art school at the Mill from 1923 to his death in 1941.

CHRISTINE BENSON,

Port Hope, ON

www.journeythroughthearts

 

CLAY & CAROL BENSON,

Smith’s Creek Antiques, Port Hope, ON

www.smithscreekantiques.co

It is always exciting to learn about these female artists who remained in anonymity. Her work is reminiscent of the Group of Seven

JUDY S., Docent,

McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON

www.mcmichael.com

 

Clara’s work appears to be of excellent quality and I will let you know if we see any by this artist at the Roberts Gallery.

PAUL WILDRIGE,

Roberts Gallery, Toronto, ON

www.robertsgallery.net

 

I found your site and wanted to contact you.  My father and I were both born in Cobourg, Ontario and from the time I was very young I remembered a picture that my father loved. It’s an original oil by Clara Harris with  pine trees to the left, a large white house in the centre, and a red boat with 2 people on a lake.  Can you tell me anything about this painting?

ELLIE B., Calgary, AB

 

I happened across your website while searching for information on Clara Harris and was delighted to find your detailed in depth account of her life and works. 

We would love to attend a gathering of collectors if one is organized.

AUDRE B.,

Jacksons Point, ON

 

Your website is amazing.  There was a lot of work involved to put that much information online, not to mention travelling around Ontario following the places that she painted.  It might be partly because of your website that I just purchased one of Clara’s paintings from a Waddington’s Auction last week.

I looked again at your website and at your trip to Port Hope.  It sounded very interesting.  I hope to drop in there next summer as my grandmother also attended the Port Hope Summer Art School in the early 1900’s.

MICHAEL B.,

Calgary, AB

Hello.  I am Clara Harris’ great niece.  I live in Michigan but I remember Clara’s house with all of the paintings in all of the bedrooms upstairs – even stacked in the closets.  Thank you for a wonderful website.

SUE N.,

Michigan, U.S.A.

The materials you have sent have been added to the artist file on Clara Harris.

JESSICA STEWART,

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives, Ottawa, ON

https://www.gallery.ca/en/resources/archives

Today I visited your Clara Harris website and enjoyed reading your documented work of her life and work.  It’s valuable. I have 15 of her paintings.  There are also two in Israel.

EMANUEL Y.,

Toronto, ON

I am an artist and bring art instructors to my studio to teach other artists.  This week I am part of a three-day workshop on the Women Artists of Quebec, including the Beaver Hall Group and Group of Seven.

 

I came across your Clara Harris website by accident.  In 1982 I purchased one of her oil paintings.  Clara would be delighted to know that her work is valued and your efforts to keep her work alive is much appreciated. How lucky to have someone as skilled as you to archive Clara’s life.

EVELYN P.,

Artist and Consultant, Horseshoe Valley, ON

 

Discovered your website while researching my Clara Harris oil painting which I bought at a garage sale, in Plymouth which is between Detroit and Ann Arbor. I knew immediately it was a quality painting with distinct colouring, impressionist style, and Plein Air look.  It was 100% captivating.

CHUCK L.

Plymouth, Michigan, USA

 

I think that the plan for an exhibit is a good idea. Where/when are you planning to have it?  I look forward to hearing from you.

PAM SLAUGHTER,

Co-Author, “Baby Point:  The Place Where We Live

Toronto, http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?R=3039461

Just spent an hour reviewing your website.  We have two Clara Harris oil paintings.  There are others in our family as well, given to us by our Aunty Mary, an antique dealer. She made sure we were all aware of Clara and how she trained/painted under the Group of Seven. The paintings are now in Saskatchewan/Manitoba. 

LISA B.

Newmarket, ON

Love it.  The paintings stand out like jewels on the website.  Half art commentary, half sleuth.  Nice work, rich content.

GENVIEVE L.,

Toronto, ON


I have to admit that I was not familiar with this artist  but she seems like an incredible woman and extremely talented.

MEREDITH HILFERTY,

Director Fine Art Auctions,

Rago Arts & Auction Center, NJ, USA

www.ragoarts.com

 

This is a painting that we inherited from my in-laws.  Now that I know the historical significance I will not throw it out.  I thought of the Group of Seven when I first saw it, but liked it more.  It does have beautiful colouring and flow.  I thought you might like to add the picture to your archives.

CYNTHIA H.

Toronto, ON

 

I spoke with a friend of mine, an antique dealer who has a Clara Harris painting which he cherishes.  He is very interested in her as an artist and would love to buy more of her work.

ANDREA MORRISON,

Realtor, Toronto, ON

http://andreamorrison.com

 

While staying at the Old Mill Inn on a visit from England I read their blog and discovered Clara Harris’ and her art.  What interested me was that she lived and painted scenes of Ontario in the area where we were staying.  How appropriate.  Are there any galleries or places that display her work?

BRIAN S.,

England

It’s very exciting what you’ve been able to put together to inform the public about Clara’s life.  I purchased one of her paintings that had been in a box for 8 years.  On the back it says “Parrisboro 1931”.  I liked it immediately as it was bright and serene.

MARIE C.

 

My 5 siblings and I grew up with Clara Harris paintings and we each own a couple.  We got them from our Aunt Mary, a Toronto antique dealer who was convinced that they would someday become valuable.  We live in Canada: Vancouver and Kingston and in the U.S. in Raleigh, North Carolina. So Clara is represented internationally.

ILYA K.,

Raleigh, N.C.

 

I have lived on Raymond Ave. since 1978 which is right around the corner from where Clara lived on Valleyview Gardens. I was not aware of Clara’s art or prolific career.  I am fascinated with the website.  How does one go about purchasing her paintings, be they originals or prints?

LYNN D.,

Toronto, ON

 

I found your site while sitting in my living room with my ipad glancing at two of Clara’s sketches which hang on my wall. I decided to do a web search.  Lo and behold there was your site! I also have two of her oils that I purchased from Clara in the 1970’s.  They are wonderful pieces of art.

JOHN L.,

Toronto, ON

 

I’ve visited your website and really love Clara’s work.  My parents were both artists and my grandfather was a good friend of A.J. Casson.  I know they will be interested in her story.

DAPHNE P.,

Toronto, ON

 

There are some overlaps in my father-in-law’s life and Clara’s that made us wonder if they knew each other.  He went to the Port Hope Summer Art School in 1937 and studied at OCA.  My family and I looked at Clara Harris’ paintings and were very impressed.  What a wonderful talent and at least they’re not in a closet anymore.

JUDY G.,

Toronto, ON

 

I stumbled upon the Clara Harris website and as long-time resident of Baby Point I am interested to know if and where any of her paintings can be purchased?  Especially scenes of the Humber River area.

JOHN F.,

Toronto, ON

 

Clara lived in my community in Etobicoke/Bloor west and painted not just in Toronto but in the Northumberland/Cobourg area.  I now have 5 landscapes and 1 floral still life.  Can you help me to learn more about Clara and her life?

CHRISTINE K.,

Etobicoke, ON

 

I am a resident of Valleyview Gardens where Clara lived.  As a member of Humbercrest United Church there appear to be some of her paintings in the church lounge.  According to some members of the congregation there was a painting group at the church years ago.  Perhaps Clara was the instructor.

CLAIRE P.,

Toronto, ON

 

Thanks for being part of such an insightful website on Clara Harris.  I like the fact that some of her work came from the 1930’s and offers a unique look into the Ontario of the time.  She really did get around for her day.  Good luck with arranging an exhibit. 

VICTOR D.

 

I bought a Clara Harris painting as a surprise gift for my wife.  Her birthday is next week.  I was raised in Toronto and would love to see Clara’s paintings of old Toronto scenes.  Do you know where they can be seen?

ENZO S.,

Mississauga, ON

 

If you have a show of Clara’s work I’d be delighted to contribute my nasturtiums, still life to it.

JOHN R.,

Toronto, ON

 

My husband and I are thrilled at the prospect of owning one of Clara’s works.  We live in a circa 1930’s home in North Vancouver that we’ve restored back to its day. We would definitely like to follow your progress in putting together an exhibit and would try to coordinate an East coast visit with the event.

KATHY W.

Vancouver, BC

 

I agree that a number of very talented female artists of Clara’s era were ignored.

GERTRUDE KLINKOFF,

Alan Klinkoff Gallery, Montreal, QC http://www.klinkhoff.ca

I looked at the spring pictures on your website and found one that looks like mine which is titled “Spring on the Humber River”.  I would like to give it to you as I think it would have a great home with you and deserves to be loved again.

LAURIE H.,

Tilbury, ON

 

We have only quickly looked at the pictures on the site but are impressed.  What are the prices of the originals and are any for sale?  My wife is particularly interested in the painting in the Winter Section, “Stone Bridge and Building in Winter, Ontario”.

JACK C.,

Chatham, ON

 

I googled Clara Harris and was really pleased to come upon your website.  My grandmother lived on Baby Point Crescent and purchased several of Clara’s paintings.  There is a winter scene that is probably the same location as the one we have. We recently visited the Tom Thomson Gallery at the AGO, so knowing Clara’s work helped me see it through a slightly different lens.

PEGGY S.,

Barrie, ON

It was a great pleasure to see Clara’s paintings.  I was completely unfamiliar with her work but am very impressed with what I have seen. I agree that she deserves a much wider audience -- especially as women painters were somewhat more rare at that time.

JUDY HUMPHRIES,

Gravenhurst Archives, Gravenhurst, ON

www.gravenhurst.ca/en/library/Archives