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Edward John Hughes was born in North Vancouver in 1913. He studied under Charles H. Scott, Jock Macdonald and Frederick Varley at the Vancouver School of Applied Art and Design. After graduating in 1933, and following two years of post-graduate studies, Hughes undertook print and mural projects with fellow art students. In 1939, he joined the military and spent six years expanding his artistic skills as an official war artist.
After his discharge from the military in 1946, Hughes returned to the west coast of Canada. He settled in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island with his wife Fern and began a lifelong study of the province and its landscape as a professional artist.
Always a quiet achiever, Hughes was the inaugural recipient of an Emily Carr Scholarship on the recommendation of Group of Seven member Lawren Harris. By 1951, he was represented in public collections in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver
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