Peter Haworth, RCA, 1889-1986

Abstract | Peter Haworth

Abstract | Peter Haworth

Acrylic on Masonite
Size: 20" by 25"
Price: SOLD

Details: Signed lower right.
Framed: Gold wood frame, with white linen mat, measures 31" by 36.5"
Provenance: Private Collection

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Peter Haworth created a large, diverse body of work
and was a respected Toronto-based art teacher



Born in Lancaster, England, Peter Haworth served with the Royal Flying Corps in World War One, where he won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After the war, Peter Haworth studied art at the Royal College of Art, London. While there he met his artist wife Barbara Zema (Bobs) Coghill. Both artists graduated with their A.R.C.A., awarded by the University of London.

Peter Haworth was particularly interested in stained glass work and began working in this medium very early in his career.

Peter Haworth came to Canada with Bobs Coghill in 1923, appointed Director of Art at the Toronto Central Technical School. His students included Tom Roberts, York Wilson, Ernest Conyers Barker and Jean Dallaire. Bobs Coghill Haworth taught ceramics at the school.

Peter Haworth also began to fill com­missions for stained glass work in Toronto and other cities, including notably 14 panels for First Baptist Church, Ottawa.

Talent Recognized Early

The artist’s achievements in painting were also recognized early, when in 1931 he exhibited Outhouses with the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour. This artwork was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada in 1932.

By 1936, Peter Haworth had been elected President of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour and two years later had three of his watercolours exhibited in the important showing A Century of Canadian Art held at The Tate Gallery, London.

Peter Haworth also became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, Canadian Group of Painters, Ontario Society of Artists, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, England.

Art Teacher

In 1939, Peter Haworth became Instructor in Design and Drawing at the University of Toronto, which was the start of a long and respected career as art teacher. Many notable Canadian artists studied under him.

During the Second World War, Peter Haworth and his wife Bobs Coghill were commissioned by the Canadian Government to make records of the activities of the armed services on the coast of British Columbia. Thirty-nine of their works were exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Peter Haworth’s major contribution has been noted to be with his stained glass work, done for many churches in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, and elsewhere. The artist started with meticulously painted sketches, pictures done in watercolour or tempera, followed by the creation and cutting of the glass sections. Details were then etched and painted on the glass sections before they were assembled and leaded.

Lived to Age 97

While working on these stained glass windows, Peter Haworth continued painting, turning to semi-abstract and abstract themes. His works showed a fascination with simple shapes and a diverse subject matter, including docks, sailboats and woodland scenes from Ontario, the Gaspé coast, the Caribbean Islands and Spain,

After his retirement from teaching, Peter Haworth continued to paint in Toronto until his death in 1986 at the age of 97.

Peter Haworth’s work is held in the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario and numerous other public galleries across Canada, as well in numerous corporate and private collections.

Source:  A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 (online only), by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker. National Gallery of Canada, Artists in Canada database.