Artists / Principal for School of Art (1929 - 1949)
Member of Group of Seven
Born in 1890, Mr. Fitzgerald spent most of his life in Winnipeg painting what he saw and observed. He contributed greatly to the growth and appreciation of art in Winnipeg and the prairies. From 1924 on, he taught at the School of Art, and was the principal from 1929 to 1949. His energy was devoted equally to oil, water colour painting, printmaking and drawing. He is known for his landscapes of Manitoba and the west coast, and was on of the first Canadian artists to get into abstract art. Fitzgerald was invited to become a member of the Group of Seven in 1932 and was a founding member of the Canadian Group of Artists in 1933.
After his retirement from the School of Arts in 1949, Fitzgerald focused on abstraction as an art form and was prolific in that style before passing away in 1956. A special memorial retrospective exhibition was organized by the Winnipeg Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Canada in 1958 and circulated across the country. Fitzgerald received an honorary degree from the University of Manitoba in 1952 and in 1959, had a walk named after him in Bruce Park, close to where he resided on Lyle Street. There is a Fitzgerald Study Centre at the University of Manitoba, as well as a Fitzgerald Building. His connections with nationally renowned artists such as the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and others linked him to the Canadian art community and through them to the public at large. It resulted in putting scenes of Winnipeg on the artistic map and improved the quality of life of Winnipeg through Fitzgerald’s great artistic connections and the achievements of his students and his own works.