The Advertising Art of Art Hider
|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
|Fall, 1902 - AH Hider
|Orig. wc - Size - 90 x 140 mm
Found - Brampton, ON
Signed Fall, Prov - The Bull Collection
Art Hider was noted for the many wonderful illustrations he created for calendars after the turn of the 19th century.
Right we feature three evocative water colours that he painted of an era that is now long behind us, but the best of which will linger forever in our national consciousness, through these warmly romantic images of people who did so much to make Canada what it is today.
Art painted these watercolour images, which we recently discovered, in 1902, for a 1903 calendar for Massey-Harris.
Only three seasons are featured, because, in winter, Massey-Harris machinery was standing idle in the drive shed, as the cold blanket of winter clothed the fields, and farmers spent all their time tending their animals.
The top image features the seed drill, for planting, the chief preoccupation of farmers in the Spring.
The next one features plowing the soil in Autumn, and gathering and packing apples into barrels.
The final one features the binder cutting the wheat, tying (binding) it into bundles and dropping them on the field in late Summer.
Because these images were destined for calendar medallions Art didn't have to paint them large. Each one is only 90 x 140 mm in size.
Arthur Henry Hider (1870-1952) - 3
A good example of how Art's water colours were then integrated into a calendar by Massey-Harris, in another calendar for 1914. The farm machinery demonstrated in different views are: the disc, binder, drill, and below left, the mower, and right, the disc.
The farm machinery has changed surprisingly little in 100 years. The plow, disc, mower, and drill still look the same and carry out the same functions. But the binder has become the monstrous self -propelled combine, and, alas, Art Hider's beloved horses have gone.
The evil culprit - who appears only as the smallest insert in the calendar - is the 5, 10, 20 hp Massey-Harris Gasoline Engine.
We can just imagine the company executive approaching Art: "Give me a real nice picture of our wonderful new gasoline engine. Wow, Art! You should hear the noise and smell the smoke. Positively uplifting! It's the wave of the future, Art. You'll love painting this one."
History, mercifully, does not record Art's reply.
|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Maud Earl (1863-1943) was a famed British animal portrait painter who won renown for her pictures of dogs.
With the coming of the Boer War and the wave of patriotism that overcame everyone - including artists - she had painted her tenacious bulldog on the Union Jack image - while the British fleet gathers menacingly on the horizon..
Her picture so grabbed the emotions of people throughout the Empire, that 100 years later, her litho can still be found today in Canadian homes.
Her image was later also widely used in World War I and found a new lease on life, with a 1941 Canadian update, through the skillful brush of Art Hider.
|What We Have We'll Hold - Maud Earl, 1900
|Orig. litho - Image Size - 38 x 48 cm
Found - Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
Maud Earl: Maud was a well-known British contemporary of Art Hider. The daughter of the famed George Earl, who was favored by British aristocracy for his paintings of sporting pastimes. Maud displayed an early aptitude for art, with her father becoming her first teacher. To perfect her talent, he encouraged her to study the skeleton figures of man, dog and horse so as to improve her knowledge of anatomy and assist in the accuracy of her paintings.
She later confidently stated regarding her training, "It is for this reason that I have been able to hold my place among the best of dog painters; no one has ever touched me in my knowledge of anatomy." Renowned for her dog paintings, she exhibited her work at the Royal Academy as well as having one woman shows at London's Graves Gallery during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Her clients included Queen Victoria and King Edward VII.
Art painted calendar art for half a century. In the midst of World War II, in a calendar for Beaver Lumber of Alberta, he was inspired by Maud Earl's 1900 "What We Have We'll Hold" painting.
Calendar Art: Few calendars have ever looked as magnificent as the one Art Hider designed for the Northern Navigation Co. in 1917. The design, the presentation, and the atmosphere of this magnificent painting of a night voyage - the moonlight glistening off the clouds, and the porthole lights shimmering off the waves - elevates this work far above the usual level for calendar art. It makes one fairly want to rush down and sign up for a trip.
Art painted this magnificent specimen of a lion for a Monarch Belting calendar and the Bears for another.