Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook

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Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook
Photo of Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook.jpg
Born Elizabeth Mary Bradford
November 7, 1913
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Died February 23, 2009(2009-02-23) (aged 95)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Nationality Canadian
Education Ontario College of Art
Known for Sculptor and designer
Notable work Federal Building "Wildlife and Industry" panels ca. 1952, "George Bernard Shaw" 1997, "Emanuel Hahn" 1952, "Family Tree" 1960.
Awards Lieut. Governor’s Silver Medal for Sculpture, 1935; National Sculpture Society of New York, Gold Medal, 1969 and the Canadian Portrait Academy Cleeve Horne Award - Best Portrait Sculpture, 1998

Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook, CM, O.Ont (7 November 1913 – 23 February 2009) was a Canadian portrait sculptor, medal designer and liturgical artist. She co-founded the Canadian Portrait Academy and the Canadian Group of Art Medalists.

Education and training[edit]

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, on November 7, 1913,[1] Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook was the great-great-granddaughter of the Hon. John Willson, the first speaker for the House in Upper Canada.[2] Holbrook studied at the Hamilton Art School (1928–31), Ontario College of Art (1932-35), Royal College of Art in London, England (1936) and at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (1948).[3] She studied under such artists as Hortense Gordon, John S. Gordon, John Sloan, Gustav Hahn, Emanuel Hahn, Rowley Murphy, and Carl Milles.[4]

She was a lecturer in Sculpture at Dundas Valley School of Art from 1965 to 1969.,[4] at the Burlington Cultural Centre from 1990-1993 and at McMaster University, Faculty of Arts in Hamilton, Ontario from 1995-1999. Holbrook’s portrait sculptures are represented in over 50 public collections worldwide.


Holbrook's subjects included HM Queen Elizabeth II; William Osler; Ellen Fairclough; John Diefenbaker; Emanuel Hahn; Henry Moore; among many others. Her works include the bronze 24' standing figure of a Royal Military College of Canada cadet 1979 (later known as ‘Brucie’), which was a gift of the Royal Military College Club.[5] She also produced a bronze bust of Colonel George Stanley, a former Royal Military College professor, who designed the Canadian Flag.[6] In 1996 she completed a sculpture of George Bernard Shaw for the then-new plaza in Niagara-on-the-Lake.[7] Her last commissioned sculptures were that of Conrad Black and his wife Barbara Amiel created in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

Architectural sculptures[edit]

Federal Building, Hamilton, Ontario. Eight large mezzo relief stone panels depicting wildlife and industry.


  • Order of Canada
  • Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
  • Ontario Society of Artists
  • Sculptors' Society of Canada
  • Canadian Portrait Academy, 1997 - Founding Member
  • Order of Ontario
  • International Art Medal Association (FIDEM)
  • Medallic Art Society of Canada
  • Canadian Group of Art Medallists[8]

Awards and honours[edit]


Holbrook died of natural causes in Hamilton on February 23, 2009.[9] She is buried at St. John's Anglican Church, Ancaster, Ontario alongside her husband "Jack" Holbrook and her son William "Billy" Holbrook. The family is interred next to a litugical headstone designed by Holbrook.


Holbrook mentored and influenced Canadian sculptor Christian Cardell Corbet.[10][11]


  1. ^ "Canadian Who's Who Biography: Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook". Utpress.utoronto.ca. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  2. ^ Zack, Lillian (20 January 1983). "Sculptor has come long way from start on Emerald Street". E.P. Taylor Library and Archives, Toronto: The Hamilton Spectator. 
  3. ^ "Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook". Ontario Society of Artists. Ontario Society of Artists. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Bradford Holbrook, Elizabeth (31 December 1975). Biographical Information Sheet. E.P. Taylor Research Library & Archives, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario. 
  5. ^ "Archives and Special Collections | University of Calgary |". Specialcollections.ucalgary.ca. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 10, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook". The Dr. George F. Stanley Book Collection. University of Calgary. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "HOLBROOK, Elizabeth (Mary Bradford)". Canadian Women Artists History Initiative. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  10. ^ 21, Christian Corbet Says: September; Am, 2011 at 9:12 (10 September 2011). "Bradford – Sculptor". wordpress.com. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 

External links[edit]