Frances Loring

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Frances Loring
Photo of Frances Loring.jpg
Born(1887-10-14)October 14, 1887
Wardner, Idaho, United States
DiedFebruary 5, 1968(1968-02-05) (aged 80)
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
EducationArt Institute of Chicago
Known forsculptor
Notable work
Queen Elizabeth Way Monument;

Frances Norma Loring, a Canadian sculptor, was born on October 14, 1887 in Wardner, Idaho and died February 5, 1968 in Newmarket, ON. In 1920 Lorning was a member of both the Royal Canadian Academy and the Ontario Society of Artists, she was a founding member (1928) and subsequently president (1940s) of the Sculptors' Society of Canada. Later she was involved in the organization of the Federation of Canadian Artists (1941) and the Canada Council (1950s). In 1960 she was the Canadian representative at the Venice Biennale. Loring was the creator of two very famous sculptures in Canada, "The lion on the Queen Elizabeth Way Monument" 1939, located now in Toronto and "The statue of Robert Borden" 1957, located on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.[1][2]


Born in Wardner, Idaho on October 14, 1887 to mining engineer Frank Curtis Loring (1859-1938)[2] and Charlotte Moore,[3][4] Frances Loring was a Canadian-based sculptor whose works can be found in many galleries in Toronto, Ontario. Loring studied at multiple schools such as the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Switzerland, the Academie Colarossi in Paris, France, the Chicago Art Institute, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and at the Art Students League in New York City. Loring studied in Europe before enrolling at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied with Lorado Taft. At the Institute she met Florence Wyle with whom she was to have a lifelong partnership. In 1909 Frances moved to New York City and was soon joined by Florence. The first of three studio homes they would share over their lives was located on MacDougal Alley, a lively artist colony in the heart Greenwich Village. Theirs was no. 6, a converted stable with additional living space. Here they sculpted well-known portrait busts of each another. The Loring-by-Wyle and Wyle-by-Lorning busts now the heartbeat[clarification needed] in the Loring-Wyle Parkette in Moore Park, Toronto, right beside where their famous studio "The Church" was.[5] In 1912 the two moved to Toronto and rented a studio-home, which was the whole top-floor over a carpenters shop at the corner of Church and Lombard Street. The building was called Hunters Inn. Eight years later, in 1920, Frances (age 33) and Florence (age 39) bought "The Church" at 110 Glenrose Avenue in the Moore Park neighborhood.[6] In addition to being their studio-home The Church was the official head office for the Sculptors Society of Canada and the gathering place for Toronto's artistic community. A. Y. Jackson called The Church "the most fascinating gathering place in the country" and it has been described as the closest Toronto came to having a Bohemian salon. Robertson Davies based characters on them and The Church in The Cunning Man.[7] In 1928 Loring and Wyle were founding members of the Sculptors' Society of Canada with Alfred Laliberté, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Wood's teacher and husband Emanuel Hahn and Henri Hébert. She was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts[8] Her work was often exhibited by the Women's Art Association of Canada.[9] In 1960, works by Loring along with those of Edmund Alleyn, Graham Coughtry, Jean Paul Lemieux and Albert Dumouchel represented Canada at the Venice Biennale.[10]

Artistic career[edit]

Frances Loring is famous for her unique sculptures,[11] and produced and created hundreds of different pieces of art, including public monument home-front sculptures during the First World War, war memorials after the war,[7] architectural sculptures, portraits, and garden sculptures. She was a member and the founding of the Sculptors Society of Canada and the chief organizer of the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Canada Council of the Arts. Loring used to create her art based on what was happening around her in history and she worked with a large variety of materials to make her sculptures. Loring was known as well for her collaborations with Florence Wyle, including in 1928, at the University of Toronto they created a war memorial in Osgoode Hall, the Library, and the Queen Elizabeth Way Monument (called by some[according to whom?] the "Loring Lion" due to Loring's contribution), located in Casimir Gzowski Park since 1975. She also created a portrait of Prime Minister Robert Borden in bronze and various war memorials in Cambridge, Ontario,

Associations with artists [1][edit]

Florence Wyle

Loring is closely associated with fellow sculptor Florence Wyle, and they were both known to become some of the first prominent Canadian sculptures. Loring and Wyle are usually connected with each other because their relationship, both personal and professional, lasted for over 60 years. Loring and Wyle first met at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1905, which resulted in a long friendship. Even though the two women were after the same commissions, they often collaborated on multiple projects with each other. Before Loring or Wyle's art promoted sculptures in Canada, there were very few sculptures due to the lack of interested artists, shortage of foundries and the expensive cost of materials were all factors of the lack of sculptors at that time, and they often had to rely on commissions to gain money for needed material. After Loring and Wyle's works have gained popularity, both artists contributed significant influence on Canadian art by showing that the art of sculpting is equally as important as any other art form. Loring and Wyle had moved into an abandoned church in 1920, and it soon served as both their home and studio. After their sculptures gained some popularity, the church became headquarters for the Sculptor's Society of Canada, where Loring and Wyle both considered as the founding members.


In 1913, Loring and Wyle moved in together in Toronto, and society started referencing to them as "The Girls."[5] Both of them were major forces in their careers and society at the time used to require Loring and Wyle to make important sculptures during the World War I, such as the monuments for the Queen and King in Toronto. After the War, society started to have a movement for non-representational sculptures, towards this path Loring's work started to lose the big popularity. However, in a while later she got rediscovered by the academic's female artists. In 1968, Loring and Wyle passed away and they left all their money to support the new generation of Canadians sculptors.


See also[edit]

Loring-Wyle Parkette

Florence Wyle


Through her father, Francis Loring was a seventh great grand daughter of Deacon Thomas Loring, who was ancestor of many Lorings in North America.


In 1968, Frances Loring died and donated proceeds from the sale of her works. A trust fund was set-up to support future sculptures in Canada.[12]


  1. ^ a b Sisler, Rebecca. "Frances Norma Loring". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  2. ^ a b Amy Marshall Furness and Gary Fitzgibbon, Description and Finding Aid: Frances Loring and Florence Wyle Fonds, 2008, accessed 9 June 2014
  3. ^ Merna Forster, "The Grand Dame of Canadian Sculpture - Frances Loring 1887 - 1968" In: 100 More Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces (Toronto, Dundurn, 2011), Volume 2 of Canadian Heroines, p.229, accessed 9 June 2014
  4. ^ "Francis Loring", Lawrence Hayward Collection (website), accessed 9 June 2014
  5. ^ a b Rebecca Sisler, "The Girls: A Biography of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle" 1972 Clarke, Irwin & Company
  6. ^ Goddard, Peter (2007-12-01). "Book examines sculptures of Loring and Wyle". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
  7. ^ a b Cameron, Elspeth (2007). And Beauty Answers: The Life of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle. Cormorant Books Inc. ISBN 1897151136.
  8. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  9. ^ Holmlund, Mona; Youngberg, Gail (2003). Inspiring Women: A Celebration of Herstory. Coteau Books. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-55050-204-6. Retrieved 2014-07-05.
  10. ^ "Past Canadian Exhibitions". National Gallery of Canada at the Venice Biennale. National Gallery of Canada. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  11. ^ Sisler, Rebecca (1972). "Lives and Works of the Canadian Artists". Dundurn Press.
  12. ^ Encyclopedia, Canadian. "Frances Loring". Canadian Encyclopedia. Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 7 March 2017.

External links[edit]

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