Joseph Sydney Hallam
1898 - 1953
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Joseph Sydney Hallam was born in 1898 in Manchester, England and immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 12. He studied art at the Hamilton Technical School and Toronto Central Technical School. He took evening classes in anatomy at the Ontario College of Art under J.W. Beatty and private figure classes under Varley. He taught ‘costume figure’ in the evenings at the Ontario College of Art from 1940-1945.
Hallam considered himself first and foremost an illustrator in advertising and made his mark in this field. He joined Sampson-Matthews Limited around 1921, where he did posters, displays, and illustrations. In 1925 he won first prize in an international non-sectarian church poster competition. The competition was conducted by the Poster Advertising Association, Chicago, U.S.A., and involved the reproduction of his winning work on billboards throughout North America.
Hallam sketched often with Franklin Carmichael, with whom he worked at Sampson-Matthews. His work was reproduced by Sampson-Matthews in 1943 as part of the National Gallery’s plan to furnish scenes of Canada for Canadian armed forces throughout the world.
Hallam’s exhibitions included the Canadian National Exhibition in the 1930s, the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour from 1930 to 1936, a solo show at the Laing Galleries, Toronto in 1951, at the Roberts Gallery in 1958 and the Art Gallery of Windsor in 1961.
Hallam won the J.W.L. Forster Award in 1947 and the Art Directors Club Medal in 1950. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy (ARCA–1943, RCA–1950), the Ontario Society of Artists (Member–1932, President–1948), and the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto (1935).
Hallam’s work is found in numerous public collections including The National Gallery of Canada (RCA Diploma Collection), the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the late Pope Pius XII, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Public Library and Art Museum in London, Ontario.