Thomas Garland Green

Thomas Garland Greene (1875-1955) In his painting he worked in oils and water colours doing mainly landscapes. He also did portraits. He was very active in art circles and he exhibited often with the Ontario Society of Artists, the Royal Canadian Academy (between 1914 and 1932) and the societies of which he was a member.

T.G. Greene (1876-1955)

The Canadian landscape painter and etcher Thomas Garland Greene was born on September 12, 1875, in Toronto, Ontario, to Thomas G. Greene and Maria Cumming Greene. During his youth, he trained for seven years with the Toronto Engraving Company. In 1898 he received lessons from William Cruikshank (1848-1922) during night school sessions at the Central Ontario School of Art in Toronto. He later travelled to London, England, in 1902, to study with William Mouat Loudan (1868-1925) at the Westminister School of Art and with Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953) at the Finsbury Art School. While in London, Greene founded Carlton Studio in 1903, along with fellow Canadians Archibald Martin, Norman Price, and William Wallace. At the time, Carlton Studio was the largest graphic design company in the United Kingdom. He returned to Canada in 1904 and settled briefly in London, Ontario, to work for an advertising agency.

Over the years, Greene became an active member in a variety of art clubs, including the Polypictus Club, which he joined in 1897. The Polypictus Club required each member to complete a small watercolour that would then be circulated amongst club members for comments and critiques in the club journal. Greene was a founding member of both the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (1926, President in 1929) and the Canadian Society of Graphic Art (President from 1931 to 1933), and a member of the Ontario Society of Artists (1911); the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto (1915); the Toronto Art Students’ League; and the Mahlstick Club (1915). Greene often exhibited his works at these clubs, as well as at the Royal Canadian Academy (from 1914 to 1932).

Greene had a great interest in art education, beginning his career in 1915 as a teacher at the Ontario Ladies’ College in Whitby, Ontario, where he taught until 1925. He went on to give art classes at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario, and the Northern Vocational School in Toronto. In 1922 Greene created and prepared drawing lesson plans for publication through the Shaw Correspondence School, located on Bloor Street West in Toronto. At the Girls’ Latin School in Chicago he taught French from 1934 until 1937 and lectured for the Department of Education at the Art Institute of Chicago. He also wrote art catalogues and educational texts for children.

After retiring in 1935, Greene moved to Hawkestone on Lake Simcoe and offered private lessons on sculpture for children from 1938 to 1940. He devoted his later years to both writing poetry and translating French poetry. At age 80, he died in Orillia, Ontario, at the Orillia Memorial Hospital on November 18, 1955. Never married, Greene was survived by his sister Penelope McGregor and her four sons, William, Thomas, Robert, Hector, three great-nieces, and two great-nephews. He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.

Source: National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives