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Cardfile at the Canadian War Museum E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   
from his cardfile at the Canadian War Museum:
Born in 1909 at Oxford, England. Came to Canada in 1922. Largely self-taught, he worked in industry and as a graphic designer. Member of the Canadian Graphic Arts Society. Was on the staff of the Ontario College of Art, Toronto.

Employed on camouflage duties in Eastern Canada while in the Air Force. Served as an Official War Artist from February 1943 until October 1945. Held the rank of flight lieutenant. While overseas he painted Coastal and Bomber Command activities in the British Isles and fighter activities with the Tactical Air Force in North-West Europe.

Since the war has done murals and engaged in free lancing in design fields.

Died January 13th, 1980 at Toronto, Ontario.
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Spillway E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   
Spillway :: Collection of Margaret Bridgman Spillway :: Collection of Margaret Bridgman
The success and acclaim generated by his profile as a former war artist/muralist/designer enabled Eric to move out of the city to a millhouse in Thornhill that he rented from fellow artist Albert Angus Macdonald. Spillway was “open concept” before it became vogue twenty years later. The house itself is noteworthy in that much of the material was repurposed from other sites: the 5-metre high fireplace used bricks from a factory chimney, and the main exposed beams that supported the roof were bought from a local farmer who was tearing down his old barn. The livingroom height was the full two stories, with a balcony that accessed the bedrooms. Once he moved in, Eric provided his own touches, with a custom spice rack and spice bottles from a medical supply house, and large glass bottle lamps with custom shades. Furniture was wood and natural fabric in the modern Scandinavian style. The house was featured in the Toronto Star’s Weekend Picture Magazine in 1953.

“You should have seen me at Spillway,” remarked Eric ruefully one day to Timothy Sullivan many years later. He had been on top of the world, able to pick and choose his clients and his jobs, and to lavishly entertain friends and family. Eric invited the families of his brother Jack, and his sisters Nell and Phyllis every Christmas. Margaret Bridgman, Eric’s niece, was just a young girl then but she adored her uncle and remembers vividly the magic of that house: the conversation, the stories, and the food.

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Timeline E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   
1909 EA born, Oxford, England
1910
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915 Oxford Public School
1916 Oxford Public School
1917 Folkestone Grammar School, Franklin Carmichael joins Arts and Letters Club
1918 Folkestone Grammar School
1919 Haverfordwest Preparatory
1920 Haverfordwest Preparatory
1921 Haverfordwest Preparatory
1922 Haverfordwest Preparatory, father dies of diabetes and alcoholism
1923 EA emigrates to Canada, lives with Aunt Amy
1924 Rolph Clark Stone Ltd.
1925 Rolph Clark Stone Ltd., Mother and sisters arrive
1926 Rolph Clark Stone Ltd.
1927 Rolph Clark Stone Ltd.
1928 Reliance Engravers
1929 Sampson Matthews Ltd., Elected member of Canadian Society of Graphic Artists
1930 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, 236 Ave. Rd. and 1711 Star Bldg, Toronto
1931 Eric Aldwinckle Studio
1932 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, Franklin Carmichael joins faculty at OCA
1933 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, Logging prohibited at Trout Lake (Killarney) and small forest reserve established, Canadian Homes Cover, Dec.
1934 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, F Carmichael builds cottage at Killarney, Canadian Homes cover Jan/Feb, Canadian Homes June/July illustration
1935 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, joins Arts and Letters Club, Hart House Theatre ad
1936 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, OCA instructor (two periods/week) assisting Frank Carmichael, to introduce design and lettering, “Memorial”, “This Mad World (Insect Play) Hart House set design, Elected Member of the Ontario Society of Artists, painting Memorial 1936 Chalk Lake
1937 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, OCA instructor (part-time), “Algonquin”, “The Snow Queen” Hart House set design, copyright for “Caricatures in the Gallery” registered April 21, 1937, oil painting Algonquin 1937 30 x 40 oil, begins exhibiting with Ont Society of Artists (until 1943), CNE poster.
1938 Eric Aldwinckle Studio, OCA instructor (part-time), Six Maclean’s covers, “Three Wise Guys” A&L Review, EA logo from Star Building
1939 Director of Public Information (poster designer), OCA instructor (part-time), Ten Maclean’s covers, NY World’s Fair
1940 Director of Public Information (poster designer), OCA instructor (part-time), One? Maclean’s cover, “OSA Lake”
1941 Director of Public Information (poster designer), OCA instructor (part-time), “Francis Chapman as a Boy”, Exhibition, Eaton’s College Street Fine Art Galleries, Feb. 21-Mar 1
1942 Meets Harry Somers (early 1942) OCA instructor (part-time), Untitled-Skier, EA enlists, arrives in Halifax to design camouflage, “Two Preludes” (music), Director of Public Information (poster designer), Maclean’s cover (motorcycle knight)
1943 EA given commission as war artist, sent to Scotland, N. Ireland, London, “Promenade for Violin and Piano” (music), exhibits at National Gallery, London. Apr 27 Ivanhoe Hotel, Glasgow. Dec 23 London almost completed “Return from Berlin”
1944 London, Normandy, Paris, Belgium, mother battles cancer, depression, EA requests repatriation to Canada, “fed up” with A&L Club, London at Christmas. July 15 in France, notes that building in London containing his studio had been bombed. Sept 8. Letter to Somers that he has been promoted to Flight Lieutenant.
1945 North of England, Yorkshire Station, again requests repatriation, hears of first war art exhibits in Canada, little work, less enthusiasm, repatriated; Frank Carmichael dies, EA takes over as Principal, New School of Design, OCA. June, Eric Studies lithography, July 7 expects to be back in Canada by August
1946 Attempts to gain access to work for exhibition, but is held for secrecy reasons, “Tapestry” (music), “Mime” (music), resigns as Principal New School Design, VP OCA: reports to OCA on “appalling conditions”
1947 “The Rev. C. Ward”, “People of the Mist”, Sunnybrook Hospital Mural started
1948 Art Dir. U of T, Sunnybrook Hospital Mural completed, Art Director’s Club founding, illustrated “The Varsity Story” for Morley Callaghan, radio interview by Andrew Bell, “Biology”, “Adoration of the Elements”, Silver Rail Mural.
1949 Art Dir. U of T, Medal Award from Art Directors Club for Achievement
1950 Art Dir. U of T, EA requests war medals from RCAF HQ
1951 Art Dir. U of T, M. Ott’s “Werbung in Kanada”
1952 Art Dir. U of T
1953 Art Dir. U of T, O'Neill Collegiate Institute, Oshawa High School Mural, Imperial Oil Review
1954 represented Canada with Clair Stewart in “Growth of the Book Jacket”, visits USSR, writes Maclean’s article, “Canada’s Tomorrow”
1955 Art Dir. Stratford Festival, “Maelstrom”, Great Seal of Canada
1956 Lectures architecture students at U of T on design, Art Dir. Stratford
1957 Art Dir. Stratford
1958 EA begins to petition Ont. Gov’t to protect OSA Lake area, Art Dir. Stratford
1959 Mural for Ontario Hydro, “In the Beginning was the Wood”
1960 York University coat of arms
1961
1962 Series of educational talks to school children on CBC
1963 Illustrates United Church Study Book “The Word and The Way”, The Prince Philip medal for Science for Victoria College
1964 PEI Centennial insignia, U of Waterloo Mace project begins
1965 Ryerson symbols registered as trade marks, EA has infected tooth, then flu, begins corresponding with Sister Marie from Institut Familial Bilingue, Saint-Jacques (Montcalm) P.Q., falls in a barn on F. C.’s farm and is disabled for 15 days, city of Stratford Ontario adopts his Swan logo
1966 U of Waterloo Mace project concludes, Oakville Board of Education insignia designed, EA submits designs for Centennial Coins, competition won by Alex Colville, begins work on signage for U of Sask Regina Campus, but work is ceased before completion, his sister dies of cancer, his car is stolen, but recovered
1967 Trip to visit Sister Marie is cancelled because she is ill, area around OSA Lake is named Killarney Provincial Park, pitches Toronto Life on article on official design in Canada, Seneca College insignia design, designs intro credits for “A Place To Stand”, Abitibi Paper Christmas Card
1968 EA enters hospital with hepatitis, EA subscribes to Flying Saucer Review, “The Artist’s Choice” war art exhibition, receives token royalty for “Preamble”, EA and Tony Andras submit design for NWT Flag, financial complications EA surrenders life insurance, Reg Godden and Harry Somers help him out, EA invited to U of G, “Preamble” (music), visits University of Guelph
1969 EA applies for Canada Council Senior Grant, Post Office establishes a Design Advisory Committee, Cambrian College invites EA to lecture on colour but a misunderstanding over the date causes bad feelings, becomes life member of A&L Club.
1970 Canada Council does not award grant, A&L Club elects EA as Life Member, EA completes work for C Chapman Hudson’s Bay film, Sunnybrook Hospital mural destroyed
1971 Letter to C. Chapman re: Atlantis, Letter to Dora De Pédry Hunt on Cdn money, letter to Frank Smyth on out-of-body experience, letter to Francis Chapman on various artist terms, inc. Munsell Colour System, OSA Members Exhibition, completes design for BC Centennial Dollar coin, completes seal for Town of Iroquois Falls
1972 Killarney declared a Primitive Area by Ont. Gov’t , EA’s design for BC Centennial receives hon. mention
1973 “Mushroom Spores” (music), two arctic flowers for Imperial Oil Review
1974
1975 EA elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, “Kasche Lake”
1976 EA gives his papers to the Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa
1977
1978
1979
1980 EA passes away in Toronto, January 13
2003 1,000 14 Karat Gold coins featuring Aldwinckle’s design of the Great Seal of Canada sells out in less than one hour, War Art exhibition travels across Canada
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The Work and Life of Eric Aldwinckle

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When I… became a war artist, I had no interest in machines, but by being on the field and seeing these beautiful machines working I came to understand them and I was able for the first time in my life to depict machines with some kind of understanding.

-Eric Aldwinckle, interview with Joan Murray, 1979