- [188-]–1925 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
19 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
Series comprises sheets of illustrations clipped chiefly from early-20th-century children’s books and magazines and from material intended for children or picturing children in periodicals such as Collier’s, Country life and The delineator. The illustrations accompany fairy tales and children’s stories, depict children at play, or portray animals. Series consists of the work of 62 identified artists, including Frank Adams, Frank Godwin, George Vernon Stokes, Jessie Willcox Smith and Blanche Fisher Wright. Illustrations are also taken from The child’s natural history (Boston : DeWolf Fiske, [190-?]) with pictures by unidentified artists, and Favourite animals (London : Dean & Son, [1905?]) with pictures by Stanley Berkeley (1855–1909) and other artists not named. Illustrations by Jessie Willcox Smith include 3 magazine covers with images of children from Good housekeeping, Jan. 1918 and Jan. 1919, and The ladies’ home journal, Nov. 1912.
The number of items per illustrator extends from a single sheet in the case of 25 of the artists to the more numerous illustrations (47) by Frank Adams. Many sheets are illustrated on both sides. The earliest illustrations are probably those by Thomas Landseer from the 1880s and the latest by Frank Godwin (1925).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
The artists in this series are grouped in one file. The illustrations are sorted alphabetically by artists’ surnames along with titles of 2 picture books from which illustrations were clipped. 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
Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.
Physical description: Slips of paper pasted on mounts quote from the texts of publications, probably for purposes of exhibition.
Some of the illustrations in this series were displayed at exhibitions for children arranged by Emily Elliott and others at the Art Museum of Toronto in the summers of 1918 and 1919.
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Description control area
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Dates of creation revision deletion
Originally prepared in 2015