Betty Goodwin

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Betty Goodwin
Born (1923-03-19)March 19, 1923
Montreal, Quebec
Died December 1, 2008(2008-12-01) (aged 85)
Montreal, Quebec

Betty Roodish Goodwin, OC (March 19, 1923 – December 1, 2008) was a Canadian printmaker, sculptor, painter, and installation artist.

Early life[edit]

Born in Montreal the only child of Romanian immigrants Betty loved to paint and draw as a child, and was much encouraged by her mother to pursue art. Goodwin's father, a factory owner in Montreal, died when she was 9. After graduating from high school, she studied design at Valentine's Commercial School of Art in Montreal, then launched her career as a painter and printmaker in the late 1940s. In the 1960s, she enrolled in a printmaking class with Yves Gaucher at Sir George Williams University in Montreal. Dissatisfied with her work, she destroyed most of it and in 1968 she limited herself to drawing.[1] She was married to Martin Goodwin, a civil engineer (d. 2008). Their son Paul died at 30 of a drug overdose.[1]


Betty Goodwin used a large variety of media, including collage, sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing, assemblage and etchings. Her subject matter almost always revolves around the human form and deals with it in a highly emotional way.[1] Many of her ideas came from clusters of photographs, objects or drawings on the walls in her studio. She also used the “germ” of ideas that are left after being erased from a work.[1]

Career highlights[edit]

Goodwin's work has been exhibited in Montreal since the early 60s, with some significant solo shows. Other exhibitions have taken place elsewhere in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. She was chosen to represent Canada in the Venice Biennial in 1995. In 1996, she was acknowledged with an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, Betty Goodwin: Signs of Life. In 2003, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She died in December 2008 in Montreal.



  1. ^ a b c d Johnson, Brian D. "Body Language." Maclean's Vol. 111, no. 48 (Nov. 30, 1998): 88-89.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bogardi, Georges. "The Studio: In her reconfigurations of ideas and found materials, Betty Goodwin transforms life into art." Canadian Art Vol. 11, no. 3 (Fall 1994): 86-93.
  • Bradley, Jessica and Matthew Teitelbaum, eds. The Art of Betty Goodwin. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1998. ISBN 1-55054-650-3
  • Driedger, Sharon Doyle. "Bodies and Blood: Betty Goodwin depicts profound inner landscapes". Maclean's Vol. 108, no. 49 (Dec. 4, 1995): 74.
  • Enright, Robert. "A Bloodstream of Images: an interview with Betty Goodwin." Border Crossings Vol. 14, no. 4 (Fall 1995): 42-53.
  • Goodwin, Betty. Betty Goodwin: Passages. Montreal: Concordia Art Gallery, 1986. ISBN 2-920394-12-6
  • Kirshner, Sheldon. "Betty Goodwin: Canada's Grande Dame of Art." The Canadian Jewish News Vol. 29, no. 2 (Jan. 14, 1999): 11.
  • Morin, France and Sanford Kwinter. Steel Notes, Betty Goodwin. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1989. ISBN 0-88884-602-9

External links[edit]