1898 - 1979
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Nora Frances Elizabeth Collyer was born in Montreal in 1898. She studied at the Art Association of Montreal, one of the few art institutions that admitted female students at the time. The school was directed by Royal Canadian Academy president, William Brymner. At the AAM, which later became the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, she received professional instruction from Brymner and landscape artist, Maurice Cullen.
In 1921 she joined fellow AAM graduates at their studio at 305 Beaver Hall Hill. This association of artists called themselves the Beaver Hall Group. The three story house offered the artists inexpensive studio space and a large room on the ground floor which served as their exhibition gallery. Collyer shared a studio in fellow AAM colleague, Anne Savage.
The group was connected with the Group of Seven through A.Y. Jackson (who was a member of both groups) and they were invited to exhibit together. The group disbanded after only two years, but the women in the group continued to associate together.
In the years that followed, Collyer taught drawing at Trafalgar School and at the AAM with Sarah Robertson. She participated in the Spring Exhibitions of the AAM from 1919 to 1955. Her choice of subject matter included potraits, still life and landscapes, depicting in different seasons of the year. She also exhibited with the RCA from 1922 to 1942 and with the Canadian Group of Painters.
She held solo exhibitions at the Dominion Gallery (1946) and at the Walter Klinkhoff Gallery (1964). Nora Collyer was a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. The women of the Beaver Hall Group were honoured with an exhibition of their work at the National Gallery of Canada in 1967. Nora Collyer died in Montreal at the age of 81.