Home Design Commissions Great Seal and Massey Foundation Award
Great Seal and Massey Foundation Award E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   

In 1953, just a few weeks after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, Eric’s friend and fellow Arts and Letters Club member Vincent Massey was installed in Rideau Hall and became the first Canadian in modern times to be appointed Governor General. Rt. Hon. Massey had been instrumental in establishing the Canadian War Art program, and no doubt had a hand in Eric’s military art commission.

Whenever a new monarch accedes to the throne, a new Great Seal is designed. The Seal is used to certify Acts of Parliament, and the keeper of the Great Seal is the Queen’s representative, the Governor General. In the past, the Great Seal of Canada was always designed in Great Britain. Vincent Massey resolved that this important artifact would be designed by a Canadian in Canada. In 1954, on the strength of his interest in heraldry, Eric was awarded a commission to design the Great Seal.

Eric’s design and production routine for the Great Seal was thorough but straightforward: he made many drawings, first to establish an overall design, and then more detailed drawings for the figure, the crest and the typography. At the conclusion of the design phase, Eric carved the relief out of a slab of plaster that was at least twice the size of the final piece.

Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey was delighted with Eric’s design, and in the following year, he commissioned Eric to create a medal for the Massey Foundation Award of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Canadian Seal and the Massey Foundation Award Canadian Seal and the Massey Foundation Award Canadian Seal and the Massey Foundation Award
blog comments powered by Disqus

Buy the Book

Nothing Uninteresting book cover

Now available at Blurb.com.

Nothing Uninteresting

The Work and Life of Eric Aldwinckle

By Michael B. LeBlanc

Print Book, 186 Pages



When you go up to Whiterock Lake or Whiterock hills, Killarney Hills, you feel as though you’re walking over the bodies of Gods, human beings; it’s an extraordinary experience which you can’t translate except in painting. In other words, I was in love with the landscape and I translated in terms of the human being because as you recognize (or do you?) that this was a human figure, an ambiguous one but nevertheless it’s a figure which is sprawling. And that’s my own poetry.

-Eric Aldwinckle