Alan Caswell Collier
1911 - 1990
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Born in Toronto in 1911, Alan Caswell Collier studied under J.E.H. MacDonald, and Franklin H. Carmichael at the Ontario College of Art from 1929 to 1933. Following graduation, he travelled across the country on a relief gang, and worked as a miner to earn enough money to study at the Art Students League in New York City. During his studies he returned to mining from time to time to enable him to continue with his education.
In 1943 Collier joined the Canadian Army. He returned to Toronto after World War II to continue his advertising art career, but concentrated more and more on painting. In 1951 his background in mining became the inspiration for Collier’s series of paintings depicting the underground work environment, an interest that spanned several years. He made annual road trips with his family to paint the Canadian landscape and received a commission from Standard Oil in 1963 to paint landscapes along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Collier was elected a member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1952. He taught advertising art at the Ontario College of Art from 1955 to 1967 during which time he devoted himself to painting on a full-time basis. His main medium was oil, but he also painted in watercolour and acrylics occasionally. In addition to landscape, Collier is known for portraiture. His compositions are masterful in their simplicity.