A prominent early 20th century Canadian painter and draftsman, Frank Drummond Allison was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, lived there for much of his life, and died there. He also lived in Montreal, Quebec (c.1900 - 1910); London, England (c.1916); and New York City (c.1919). In the 1920s he travelled extensively, visiting England, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Bermuda and Grenada. He returned to Saint John by about 1933, where he lived for the rest of his life.
Allison's primary mediums were watercolours and oils. His subjects included landscapes, street scenes, farms, forests, bridges, rocky coastlines, old buildings, ancient ruins, still lifes, genre and figures; the subject locations are from his local environs in Canada and the USA as well as from his travels abroad. His styles were Realism and Impressionism.
His art education includes studies in Saint John (c.1897) under his aunt Florence Standen Kaye; studies in Montreal (c.1900 - 1915) under Wilfred Molson Barnes and Maurice Galbraith Cullen; and studies in Woodstock, New Jersey (c.1920s) under John F. Carlson. He also travelled in Europe with George Elmer Browne.
Allison was a life member of the American Water Colour Society (1933); and, although he does not appear to have belonged to any other organizations, he exhibited frequently with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts between 1915 and 1941 and with the Art Association of Montreal (now - Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) between 1915 and 1939. His works were also in the Maritime Art Association exhibition titled "Painting by Artists of the Maritime Provinces" (1935 - 1936).
Allison's works have been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions at prominent commercial galleries such as at the T. Eaton Company, Montreal (1933); Vanderbilt Gallery, New York City (1933); and the Babcock Gallery, New York City (1934); and they were included in the International Business Machines Corporation touring exhibition of their collection, which visited Toronto and Vancouver in 1940.
Posthumously, a travelling exhibition of forty of Allison's watercolours, organized by the New Brunswick Museum, toured the Maritimes in 1985 and an exhibition of his oil paintings and watercolours was held at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre in 1986.
According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network and individual museum websites, there are Frank Drummond Allison works in the permanent collections of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg, Ontario), the New Brunswick Museum (Saint John), and the Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, N.B.).
Among his awards is the 1933 Jessie Dow Prize for watercolor from the Art Association of Montreal.
Biography provided by AskArt
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