- 1861–ca. 1915 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
53 cm of graphic material
Name of creator
Emily Louise (Orr) Elliott (1867–1952) was a Canadian commercial artist and painter of landscapes and floral still lifes. Born in Montreal, she studied in the 1880s at the Ontario School of Art in Toronto (now the Ontario College of Art and Design University), the Art Students’ League in New York City and the New York School of Art. Emily Louise Orr married physician John Ephraim Elliott (1858–1940) in Toronto in 1893; they had one son, Leighton Henry Elliott (1894–1947).
Emily Elliott worked in fashion illustration in Toronto probably between 1900 and 1930. As a painter, she also exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1898–1910) and with the Ontario Society of Artists (1899–1925), and was appointed in 1895 to the Canadian National Exhibition art committee, on which she served for 33 years. She was associated with the Art Museum of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) in its earliest years and in 1918 and 1919 she participated in organizing exhibitions of pictures for children at the Museum. As an illustrator of women’s clothing designs, she created newspaper advertisements for the Toronto star, drawings for the Robert Simpson department store catalogue and fashion posters.
Before and during her career, she assembled a collection of the work of other illustrators published in books and magazines, chiefly from the 1880s to 1920s, a collection she gave to the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the Art Gallery of Ontario) in 1925.
Emily Elliott was a member of the Toronto Women’s Press Club (from 1912) and the Heliconian Club.
She died in Toronto in 1952. Her paintings and drawings are in the collections of the City of Toronto Market Gallery, the Toronto Public Library and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ont.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
United States from the mid-19th century to around 1915. These include the work of 132 artists, for which predominant sources were monthly and weekly periodicals featuring fiction with captioned narrative illustrations, including The Century magazine, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Cornhill magazine, The delineator, Everybody’s magazine, Good words, Harper’s monthly magazine, Harper’s weekly, The leisure hour, London society, McClure’s magazine, Scribner’s magazine and Scribner’s monthly.
Several illustrations come from mid-19th-century books such as those created by Myles Birket Foster for his Beauties of English landscape (London : George Routledge and Sons, 1874), by Thomas Creswick for Poems by Alfred Tennyson (London : E. Moxon & Co., 1866) and by John Dawson Watson for The pilgrim’s progress by John Bunyan (London : Routledge, Warne and Routledge, 1861).
Other sources were general-interest magazines and fashion magazines, including The bookman, Harper’s bazar, The illustrated London news, Life and Vanity fair, that contained sections featuring the artwork of illustrators. A small number of magazine covers in colour and some pages from U.S. newspapers are included The folder of illustrations by John Tenniel includes an issue of The art journal ([April], 1901, designated “The art annual”) consisting of “The life and works of Sir John Tenniel” by Cosmo Monkhouse.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Apart from illustrations by Charles Dana Gibson and Albert Guillaume, the sheets of lithographs and wood engravings in this series are grouped by artist in one file. Artists’ names are sorted alphabetically by surname. Illustrations by unidentified artists are cumulated in the last folder in the file.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Open. Access to Special Collections is by appointment only. Please contact the reference desk for more information.
Conditions governing reproduction
Various copyright holders. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the collection. Permission of the Art Gallery of Ontario is required for publication.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Physical description: Items in these files include neutral and colour offset lithographs, neutral relief halftones on printing paper and greyscale wood engravings removed from books. Some illustrations are vignettes less than a half-page with text, while others are full page illustrations or plates.
Although artists Jay Hambidge, Henry Reuterdahl, Albert Beck Wenzell and Frederick Coffay Yohn are mentioned in administrative documentation (1976) for the collection, no illustrations by them were found in 2014.
Subject access points
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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Originally prepared in 2015