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Jefferys, C.W. (Charles William), 1869-1951
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Charles William Jefferys (1869-1951) was a prolific Canadian artist, illustrator and author. He was a talented landscape painter whose work was widely exhibited and collected, but is best known for his illustrations of Canada’s past. He was born in Rochester, Kent. In 1875 the Jefferys family emigrated to Philadelphia, then in 1878 they moved to Hamilton before settling in Toronto around 1880. Jefferys began formal training as an artist in 1884 when he started attending evening classes at the Ontario School of Art. The following year, Jefferys began a five-year apprenticeship at the Toronto Lithographic Company, where he was also hired out to work occasionally as an illustrator for The Globe. He worked as an artist for The Globe, as well as for a number of other Canadian newspapers until the fall of 1892 when he was taken on as an artist-reporter for The New York Herald. Jefferys lived in New York and New Jersey until 1899, returning to Canada permanently in 1901, eventually settling in York Mills. Jefferys illustrated a large number of books and articles providing illustrations for The Makers of Canada (1903-1911), Chronicles of Canada (1914-1916), was co-founder of the satirical periodical The Moon (1902-1904), and wrote and illustrated Canada’s Past in Pictures (1934) and The Picture Gallery of Canadian History (1942, 1945, 1950). He also gave frequent lectures and published numerous articles on art, architecture, and Canadian history. From 1912 to 1939 Jefferys was instructor of freehand drawing at the Department of Architecture at the University of Toronto. He also was a lecturer and part-time instructor at the Ontario College of Art. Jefferys worked for Canadian War Records in 1918, recording the activities Polish Army in Exile at Niagara and Toronto and the Siberian Army in Exile in at Camp Petawawa, Ontario. Jefferys was active in many organizations, including the Ontario Society of Artists, Royal Canadian Academy, Art Students’ League, and the Arts and Letters Club. He exhibited his art widely throughout his life, in Canada and abroad, and his work appears in major institutions across Canada. Robert Stacey (1949- ) is the grandson of C.W. Jefferys. He is an art historian, author, editor, picture editor and curator based out of Toronto. Has written numerous books and articles on C.W. Jefferys and many other aspects relating to Canadian art and graphic design, with titles including The Hand Holding the Brush: Self Portraits by Canadian Artists, Canadian Bookplates, Massanog: the art of Bon Echo, and Sir Daniel Wilson (1816-1892): ambidextrous polymath.
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William was known primarily as a landscape painter, though he also taught illustration for a time.
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