RIDERS IN THE OTTERTAIL RANGE
THOMAS MOWER MARTIN, RCA (1838-1934, CANADIAN)
Thomas Mower Martin was an English-born Canadian landscape painter dubbed "the father of Canadian art." He was educated at various schools including the Enfield Military School because his father wanted him to become a soldier with the East India Company. Orphaned at 15, he lived with an aunt who supported his desire to become a carpenter and draughtsman. At the same time, his hobby of sketching and painting led him to pursue part-time instruction at the South Kensington Schools in London. Restless for a healthier life-style, Mower Martin took advantage of the Canadian Government's offer of 107 free acres of land to enable him to immigrate and be a pioneer settler. He married Emma Nichols (1842 - 1911) and in 1862, they immigrated to Canada. Eventually settling in Toronto, Mower Martin soon became an established professional painter. A prolific artist of portraits, landscapes and still life, and adept in many mediums, he was one of the first contingency to travel west on a CPR pass in 1887 with F.M. Bell-Smith, Forshaw Day and Marmaduke Matthews. Mower Martin was a founding member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1872, charter member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1880, and also a member of the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists in (1909). He exhibited widely, and his work is housed in many public and private collections, including Windsor Castle, England. His illustrations are found in the book Canada by Wilfred Campbell, (A & C Black, 1907), a copy of which is held in the Whyte Museum Archives and Library.