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Gertrude Spurr Cutts fonds:
Gertrude Spurr Cutts was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, in 1858, the daughter of James Frederick Spurr and Laura Spurr (née Radley). She received her first instruction in art in 1875 from the Yorkshire-based artist Edward H. Holder (1847-1922). Five years later, Spurr enrolled at the Lambeth School of Art in London, where she was a student of William S. Llewellyn (1858-1941) and John H. Smith (active 1830-1893). During trips home, Spurr studied under Albert Strange at the Scarborough School of Art, receiving prizes there in 1884 and 1886. In the late 1880s, she spent time sketching in Belgium and the Netherlands, while also exhibiting in London at the Royal Society of British Artists and the Society of Women Artists.
In 1890 Spurr joined her family in Toronto (they had immigrated to Canada in 1888), where she opened a studio and became involved with the local art scene. In 1891 she was admitted to membership in the Ontario Society of Artists and, by the following year, had become active in the Toronto Art Students' League. Over the next two decades Spurr found time to sketch in southern Ontario, Quebec, northeastern United States, and Europe, and to contribute to exhibitions organized by the Ontario Society of Artists, the Canadian National Exhibition, the Royal Canadian Academy, and the Art Association of Montreal. Her paintings and sketches were also shown at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo, in 1901, and the Universal Exposition, St. Louis, in 1904.
In 1909 Spurr married the artist William Malcolm Cutts (1857-1943). The couple resided for the next three years in Cornwall, England, before returning to Toronto, where several paintings they had produced during their time abroad were exhibited at the Mackenzie & Company Gallery on Yonge Street. Three years later, in 1915, Gertrude and William moved to Port Perry, Ontario, on Lake Scugog, where they continued to devote much of their time to sketching and painting. Gertrude Spurr Cutts died in Port Perry in 1941.Return to the Table of Contents
The fonds consists of clippings, photographs, illustrations, correspondence, and personal documents that were formerly part of a scrapbook developed by Gertrude Spurr Cutts. The numerous newspaper clippings (most of which are dated by Spurr Cutts) refer mainly to sketches and paintings included in exhibitions organized by the Toronto Art Students' League, the Ontario Society of Arts, and the Royal Canadian Academy. Among the photographs are two showing Spurr Cutts painting outdoors, one depicting her and a friend on a sketching trip, and another showing her with two friends (one of them may be her husband, William Cutts) walking outdoors during a sketching trip. Also included are seven photographs of unidentified paintings. Illustrative material includes sketches by Spurr Cutts published in such magazines as The Queen (London) and The Dominion Illustrated (Montreal). Personal documents include an art certificate for an examination that Spurr Cutts in 1879; a receipt for enrollment in a class at the Lambeth School of Art, London, England, in 1886; a music certificate received from the Tonic Sol-Fa College, London, in 1888; and various invitations, including one for an exhibition of oils and pastels by Owen Staples held in the artist's Toronto studio in 1900 and another for an exhibition of paintings by Edward H. Holder held at the Mendoza Gallery, London, in 1905. Correspondence in the fonds consists of letters from friends and colleagues, as well as receipts for paintings.
Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Physical description: Photographs include b&w albumen and cyanotypes prints.
The material in the fonds was formerly part of a scrapbook developed by Gertrude Spurr Cutts. After the artist's death, the scrapbook was cut up, resulting in the partial or complete loss of many of the items on the reverse side of the clippings, photographs, illustrations, and other items.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada by Callie Stacey, Toronto, in 2013.
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Gertrude Spurr Cutts fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Box list available.
Associated material: The National Gallery of Canada owns an oil on canvas painting by Gertrude Spurr Cutts entitled Low Tide.
Accruals: No further accruals expected.
Collection processed and finding aid developed by Philip Dombowsky in 2014.
[Title of item], Gertrude Spurr Cutts fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
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