William Goodridge Roberts was born in 1904 in Barbados while
his Canadian parents were on vacation. As a child he moved frequently
to England, France, and eventually Fredriction, New Brunswick in
1912. Studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, in 1923, and
the Art Studies League in New York, under Max Weber and Joahn Sloan
(1927-29). He taught at Queen's University, Kingstorn, Ontario
1933-36 before moving on to Montreal to paint.
In the 1930's, Roberts
belonged to a Montreal-based group of painters called The Contemporary
Arts Society, which was formed partially because their members
disagreed with the beliefs of The Group of Seven.
In 1943, he enlisted in the
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and was appointed war artist in Europe. In
1944 he returned to Canada with 116 drawings and watercolours
for War Records. In 1967, his work was exhibited at the Canadian Pavilion at
Expo 67 and at the Centennial Ehibition of the National Gallery of Canada.
art historians still lament the fact to this day that Roberts is, and was,
unfairly overshadowed by the lose fame of the Group of Seven in
His deep, unshakable devotion to his art is profoundly moving and deserving
of much greater attention.
< Back To Biographies