1900 - 1994
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Charles Fraser Comfort was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1900. His family immigrated to Canada in 1912 and settled in Winnipeg. At the age of fourteen, Comfort entered a watercolour in a competition judged by F. H. Brigden. His work caught the attention of the judge and led to a job in Brigden’s Winnipeg office. He studied at the Winnipeg School of Art. He won a national art competition in 1921 and used his prize money to fund studies in New York at the Art Students League under Robert Henri.
Comfort settled in Toronto in 1925 and taught at the Ontario College of Art and the University of Toronto. He teamed up with Will Ogilvie in the early 1930s creating murals and stone friezes for commercial cliets to earn income. He served in World War II as a Senior Official War Artist and resumed teaching after the war. He served as Director of the National Gallery of Canada from 1960–1965.
Comfort was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy (Associate–1936, Member–1942, President–1957), the Canadian Society of Graphic Art (1925), the Canadian Society of painters in Water Colour (1926), the Ontario Society of Artists (1927), the Canadian Group of Painters (1933) and was made an hohourary member of the Manitoba Society of Artists.
Comfort’s work is held in many corporate, private and public collections including the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Hart House, University of Toronto, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum.