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Doris McCarthy

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Doris McCarthy
Doris Jean McCarthy

(1910-07-07)July 7, 1910
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
DiedNovember 25, 2010(2010-11-25) (aged 100)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)painter; teacher

Doris McCarthy, CM OOnt RCA LL. D. (July 7, 1910 – November 25, 2010) was a Canadian artist known for her abstracted landscapes. In a 2004 interview with Harold Klunder, the artist remarked:

I was influenced very strongly by the tradition of going out into nature and painting what was there. I bought it. And I still buy it.[1]

Life and career


Born in Calgary, Alberta, McCarthy attended the Ontario College of Art from 1926 to 1930, where she was awarded various scholarships and prizes. She became a teacher shortly thereafter and taught at Central Technical School in downtown Toronto from 1933 until she retired in 1972.[2] She spent most of her life living and working in Scarborough (now a Toronto district), Ontario, though she travelled abroad extensively and painted the landscapes of various countries, influenced by Lawren Harris's simplification of form. The countries she visited included: Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, England, and Ireland. McCarthy was nonetheless probably best known for her Canadian landscapes and her depictions of Arctic icebergs - she began visiting the Arctic in 1972. In 1989, she graduated from the University of Toronto Scarborough with a B.A. in English.

McCarthy's work has been exhibited and collected extensively in Canada and abroad, in both public and private art galleries including: the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Doris McCarthy Gallery[3] at the University of Toronto Scarborough with over 200 of her works, and Wynick/Tuck Gallery.

In 2004, she had a gallery named in her honour at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Doris McCarthy trail runs alongside Bellamy Ravine, connecting Bellehaven Crescent to Lake Ontario.[4]

Death and legacy


She died on November 25, 2010.[5]



McCarthy penned three autobiographies, chronicling the various stages of her life: A Fool in Paradise (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1990), The Good Wine (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991), and Ninety Years Wise (Toronto: Second Story Press, 2004). She was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[6]

Awards and honours


She was the recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada, honorary degrees from the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, Trent University, the University of Alberta, and Nipissing University, an honorary fellowship from the Ontario College of Art and Design.


  1. ^ "Works". cowleyabbott.ca. Cowley Abbott Auction, Session 1 Important Canadian & International Art December 6th, 2023. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  2. ^ A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 (online only), by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada
  3. ^ "Doris McCarthy Gallery UTSC".
  4. ^ Micallef, Shawn (23 August 2019). "Why Scarborough is Toronto at its town-and-country best". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Artist Doris McCarthy dies at 100". CBC News. 25 November 2010. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  6. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.