February 12 – March 2, 2024

FRIENDSHIP REDISCOVERED

Youdan Stanton and E. Conyers Barker

Exhibition curated by longtime OMAH volunteers Jane Bonsteel and Sheila Davis 

In our research on local artist, Youdan Stanton, we discovered  a friendship between him and E. Conyers Barker, an internationally known artist.  As both artists are represented in the museum’s collection, we wanted to exhibit a selection of their works together. In a letter to the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) dated October 28, 2002, E. Conyers Barker explained that he would drive from Barrie in his Volkswagen to pick up Youdan from his home on Laclie Street in Orillia.  They sketched together in Severn Township, north of Lake St. George, in Algonquin Park and occasionally near Wilno or Killaloe. Barker goes on to say of Stanton “…many of his oil paintings were real gems…I do not think Orillia appreciated his expertise as an artist.  His sense of colour harmony was acute and the memory of his subject …was wonderful”.

James Harry ‘Youdan’ Stanton was born in Montreal in 1912, moving to Orillia in 1914 to live near his Stanton cousins.  He attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto (now OCADU) in the late 1920s. There, Stanton was influenced by the Group of Seven who shared his love of the outdoors.  He was taught by a member of the Group of Seven, possibly J.E.H. MacDonald, who started teaching there in 1921 and became principal in 1929.  Upon graduation, he returned to Orillia to paint and teach art in his home/studio at 520 Laclie St., which he did for over 40 years.  In addition to sketches, oil paintings and watercolours, Stanton did the etchings for the booklet entitled “Orillia Portraits”.  His sketches served as a template for his paintings, which are on view in this exhibit.   Youdan often sketched from a canoe, while exploring lakes and streams. 

While still at art school, Stanton developed multiple sclerosis.  The progress was very gradual but over time it affected his ability to go on sketching trips and made painting increasingly difficult. Rather than a cane or crutch, a canoe paddle was used for support when mobility became compromised.  This seems reflective of the description of Stanton as being a fiercely independent man. Despite having family connections and a network of friends who provided support for many years, Youdan spent his last years in a chronic care hospital in Toronto, passing away in 1987.  

OMAH is fortunate to have several works by Youdan Stanton, either through donations or purchases.  Several pieces of his work were included in a larger exhibition at OMAH in February 2010.  

  1. Conyers Barker was born in 1909 in Toronto and was educated at Central Technical School and the Ontario College of Art. He, like Youdan, had the benefit of exposure to the Group of Seven in the classroom and galleries. By the age of 18, his work was shown at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario).  As a child he suffered from polio. Recuperating from a broken arm at age 11 and later recuperating from polio related surgery, he began exploring painting to occupy his time.  This was the beginning of a lifelong passion. 

Although quite prolific and successful in his early years, in 1939 he experienced a ‘traumatic event’.  This affected his spiritual and emotional life, resulting in little painting between the years of 1946 and 1952. He left Toronto and became a sign painter in Stayner, ON.   This was described in one article as ‘rock bottom’.  He settled in Barrie, taking on  a full-time job at CKVR TV as a graphic artist and as his life settled, he returned to painting.  He passed away in Barrie, December 5, 2004, at 95 years of age.

His work is in many private collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario and Windsor Castle, Windsor, UK.  He has had exhibitions of his work across Canada and many countries internationally.  There was a show of E. Conyers Barker’s work at the Sir Sam Steele Gallery (now OMAH) in 1997.

Installation Photos

OTHER EXHIBITIONS

27TH ANNUAL WOMEN’S DAY INTERNATIONAL ART SHOW

27TH ANNUAL WOMEN’S DAY INTERNATIONAL ART SHOW

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FRIENDSHIP REDISCOVERED

FRIENDSHIP REDISCOVERED

ROBYN RENNIE: SEEING BEYOND

ROBYN RENNIE: SEEING BEYOND

SYBIL

SYBIL

THE TEENAGE ZEITGEIST: At the Stack Gallery

THE TEENAGE ZEITGEIST: At the Stack Gallery

A COLLECTION INSPIRED EXHIBITION: A CLOSE UP ON CARMICHAEL

A COLLECTION INSPIRED EXHIBITION: A CLOSE UP ON CARMICHAEL

50 YEARS OF MARIPOSA ARTS THEATRE

50 YEARS OF MARIPOSA ARTS THEATRE

STEEPED IN HISTORY

STEEPED IN HISTORY

JENNIFER ZARDO: HOME SWEET HOME

JENNIFER ZARDO: HOME SWEET HOME

TED FULLERTON: THE SERPENT’S EGG

TED FULLERTON: THE SERPENT’S EGG

TRADITION TRANSFORMED

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HOMAGE by Donald Stuart

HOMAGE by Donald Stuart

ELIZABETH WYN WOOD

ELIZABETH WYN WOOD

26TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ART SHOW

26TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ART SHOW

RENEWAL: At the Stack Gallery

RENEWAL: At the Stack Gallery

Grant’s Legacy: Capturing Orillia’s History on Film

Grant’s Legacy: Capturing Orillia’s History on Film

BEYOND THE FENCE: Christine Mack and David Hill

BEYOND THE FENCE: Christine Mack and David Hill

GREAT TAIT: The True Story of Orillia’s First Millionaire

GREAT TAIT: The True Story of Orillia’s First Millionaire

THE MACKINAW JACKET: A Canadian Folk Costume

THE MACKINAW JACKET: A Canadian Folk Costume

VIEWS OF ORILLIA

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THE MAN WHO COULD FLY; THE GIRL WHO FLIES IN HER DREAMS BY SYLVIA TESORI

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CARMICHAEL CANADIAN LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION: TRADITION TRANSFORMED

CARMICHAEL CANADIAN LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION: TRADITION TRANSFORMED

EYEING MEDUSA: Amanta Scott

EYEING MEDUSA: Amanta Scott

EYEING OMAH’S COLLECTION

EYEING OMAH’S COLLECTION

BURNER HERZOG: Gary Blundell and Victoria Ward

BURNER HERZOG: Gary Blundell and Victoria Ward

CONVERSATIONS: 150th Anniversary of the Ontario Society of Artists

CONVERSATIONS: 150th Anniversary of the Ontario Society of Artists

ORILLIA SOLDIERS’ MEMORIAL HOSPITAL POP-UP EXHIBIT

ORILLIA SOLDIERS’ MEMORIAL HOSPITAL POP-UP EXHIBIT

RETURN TO SENDER

RETURN TO SENDER

25th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ART SHOW

25th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ART SHOW

REFLECTIONS OF OURSELVES

REFLECTIONS OF OURSELVES

AMY BAGSHAW: ART INTERRUPTIONS

AMY BAGSHAW: ART INTERRUPTIONS

FROM MARBLES TO MINECRAFT: A CENTURY OF CHILDHOOD

FROM MARBLES TO MINECRAFT: A CENTURY OF CHILDHOOD

COLOUR WITH A U

COLOUR WITH A U

GOT THE TIME?

GOT THE TIME?

JILL PRICE: UNFURLED

JILL PRICE: UNFURLED

WILL MCGARVEY: STICKS AND STONES

WILL MCGARVEY: STICKS AND STONES

CARMICHAEL CANADIAN LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION: TRADITION TRANSFORMED

CARMICHAEL CANADIAN LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION: TRADITION TRANSFORMED

AT RISK: TRACEY LAWKO

AT RISK: TRACEY LAWKO

SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES

SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES

VIEWS FROM A CANOE

VIEWS FROM A CANOE

THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN ORILLIA

THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN ORILLIA

WELCOME HOME TO ORILLIA

WELCOME HOME TO ORILLIA

D. AHSÉN:NASE DOUGLAS: WE ARE STILL HERE!

D. AHSÉN:NASE DOUGLAS: WE ARE STILL HERE!

CARMICHAEL CANADIAN LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION: TRADITION TRANSFORMED

CARMICHAEL CANADIAN LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION: TRADITION TRANSFORMED

DYING MATTERS:REFLECTIONS OF GROWTH THROUGH GRIEF

DYING MATTERS:REFLECTIONS OF GROWTH THROUGH GRIEF

SUMMER ON THE LAKE

SUMMER ON THE LAKE

THE HISTORY OF ORILLIA IN 50 ARTEFACTS

THE HISTORY OF ORILLIA IN 50 ARTEFACTS

THE ORILLIA POLICE AND THE SIR SAMUEL STEELE MEMORIAL BUILDING

THE ORILLIA POLICE AND THE SIR SAMUEL STEELE MEMORIAL BUILDING