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Item Name: Painting
Title: Untitled
Maker: Robert Newton Hurley
Year: 1951
Country: Canadian
Materials: Watercolour on card
Measurements: overall: 18.6 cm x 27.4 cm
ID Number: PC99.11

Extended Label Info: This simple watercolour painting reveals a common winter prairie scene, with endearingly tilted telephone poles and grain elevators in the distance. Robert Hurley had an excellent ability to create intricate and realistic images with recognizable and precise shapes and often used poles and electrical lines as strong compositional devices. Very simple brushstrokes along with a keen sense of colour, define the sky, snow and architectural structures specific to the Canadian prairies. Robert Newton Hurley (1894-1980) was born in London, England. He trained as an apprentice printer-compositor until his mid-20s. During and after WWI he served in the Suffolk Regiment (1917-1920), then immigrated to Canada in 1923 before he settled in Saskatoon in 1930. Unemployed at the age of forty during the depression, Hurley began to paint with berry juices and a toothbrush. From 1933-35 he took night classes from established artist Ernest Lindner and quickly became well known in Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada for his treatment of the prairie landscape. He first exhibited in a 1935 exhibition in Winnipeg with the Manitoba Society of Artists. Hurley focused primarily on prairie landscapes and paid particular attention to subjects such as grain elevators, receding roads, and telephone poles. Hurley received an honorary degree from the University of Regina. He remained in Saskatchewan until retiring to Victoria, British Columbia in 1963.