Alumni profiles: 1920s

Leonard Brooks (b. 1911)

Brooks studied at OCAD U (then OCA) in 1929 under Franz Johnston. A painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, Brooks works in a variety of media. He has written several books on the techniques of oil and watercolour painting. He was an official WW II artist and painted the day-to-day activities of military service in the Royal Canadian Navy. In 1947 he moved to Mexico and studied with artist Alfaro Siqueiros.

Isabel McLaughlin (1903-2002)

McLaughlin attended OCAD U (then OCA) from 1925 to 1927, studying with Arthur Lismer. She helped to form the Art Students' League and then was a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters, and was elected its first female president in 1939. Her early works were influenced by the Group of Seven, and she exhibited with them in 1931. Her later works included painted landscapes, northern Ontario mining towns, city street scenes, figural studies, and still lifes. She donated her important collection of art to the family's gallery, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, in Oshawa, Ontario.

Carl Shaefer (1903-1995)

Shaefer studied at OCAD U (then OCA) from 1921 to 1924 under Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald. After exhibiting with the Group of Seven in 1928, Shaefer became a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters. Adept at painting portraits, figure studies, still life, set designs, and print-making, Shaefer is most closely associated with emotive landscapes of rural southern Ontario he painted during the Depression. He later taught at OCA from 1948 to 1968.

Elizabeth Wyn Wood (1903-1966)

Wood studied at OCAD U (then OCA) from 1921 to 1926, under the instruction of J.W. Beatty and J.E.D. MacDonald. She also attended the Art Students' League in New York for a year of further study. Wood explored the aesthetic properties and potential of different materials and techniques as they applied to sculpture. While she did explore landscape in her work, the human figure remained the basis for her work. Some of her public commissions include the Welland-Crowland War Memorial 1934-39, the King George VI Monument (Niagara Falls, 1955-61), and the Simcoe Monument (Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1951-53).

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