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Juanita LeBarre Symington (1904-1980)

Juanita LeBarre Symington (1904-1980)


“The Kings Arch Oakville” 1922


12” x 20” Image

29” x 21” Frame

Signed Front “Juanita O E Symington” Bottom Right, Excellent Condition

Exhibited in the Hamilton Women’s Art Association exhibit (Tag Verso)

Provenance: Estate of Juanita Lebarre Symington

Artist Bio:

Juanita LeBarre Symington was born in 1904 in Hamilton, Ontario. She studied at the Royal Hamilton Conservatory and in New York with John F. Carlson at the Art Students League. Symington had notable solo exhibitions of her work mounted in prominent Toronto galleries for many years. Symington was an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and throughout her life was a prominent fixture in the Hamilton arts community, being one of the founding charter members of Women’s Art Association of Hamilton. Her work is represented in many collections in Canada and abroad, including the collection of Queen Elizabeth II. Symington died in 1980, and a scholarship in her memory is awarded on an annual basis to a McMaster University arts student.


  • Biography

    Juanita LeBarre Symington (1904 – 1980)


    Over a 50 year art career, Juanita LeBarre Symington created a style all her own. Her paintings were not necessarily experimental, but are admired for the rhythm, design, and atmospheric effects. She was commonly found painting outdoors, even during the worst of weather. Her brilliant red signature or her iconic images of Hamilton architecture and Canada’s North are common identifiers of Symington’s artworks.


    Officially named, Juanita Onoto Evangeline LeBarre Symington was born in Hamilton in 1904. She was known in the Hamilton arts community as being an avid and innovative teacher, organizer, and of course professional painter. From a young age, Symington was encouraged to draw by her mother and professional portrait artist, Charlotte Tutty LeBarre. By age 9, Symington began weekly lessons with Marion Mattice, where she mastered drawing and watercolours. Later, she studied oil painting with J.R. Seavey and John Sloan Gordon. By late 1930s, Symington was known in the Hamilton art community as a professional artist, which was quite an accomplishment for a woman during these times.


    Notably, Symington was the youngest and most innovative President of the Women’s Arts Association (WAAH, 1894) from 1945 -1949. In her departing remarks to the WAAH, Symington state, “We are responsible for the stir of growing art interest in Hamilton. The industrial city has awaken to the fact that it needs a meeting place for art, music and drama.” Words that still resignation with the City of Hamilton today.


    During her career, Symington had many ‘one man’ shows at such galleries as Classic Fine Art Galleries, Mallory’s, and Eaton’s College Street Fine Art Gallery. Her work can be found in such collections as Queen Elizabeth II, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Appleby College, Ridley College, and McMaster Museum of Art. Juanita LeBarre Symington’s Estate is handled by Earls Court Gallery, Hamilton.

    -Curator Andrea Jackman

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