Challener, Frederick S., 1869-1959
Frederick Sproston Challener, painter, was born in Whetstone, England in 1869 and came to Canada in 1870. He studied at the Ontario School of Art, was first exhibited in 1900 at the Royal Canadian Academy and subsequently worked as a newspaper artist. After a tour of Europe and the Middle East in 1898-99, he began working as a muralist and participated in the decoration of the recently completed Toronto City Hall. At the end of the First World War, Challener worked as a painter for the Canadian War Records Department. He made his career chiefly by creating murals for passenger boats, restaurants, hotels—such as Fort Rouillé in the King Edward Hotel,Toronto—office buildings and theatres, including the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. He also produced easel paintings, watercolours and drawings in a realistic, romantic style. From 1927-1952 he taught at the Ontario College of Art, during which period he made notes and assembled material on Canadian artists. He died in Toronto in 1959. Challener was a member of numerous arts organizations including the Toronto Art Students’ League, Ontario Society of Artists, Royal Canadian Academy, Society of Mural Decorators of Toronto and the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (founding member, 1908). His work is in the National Gallery of Canada, the Civic Art Gallery, Winnipeg, the Art Gallery of Ontario and numerous public buildings.