Regina Plains
  • Object Name: painting
  • Artist: Knowles, Dorothy (Canadian, born 1927)
  • Date Made: 1982
  • Culture/Nationality: Canadian
  • Materials: acrylic, charcoal on canvas
  • Measurements: frame: 155.7 x 155.9 cm
  • Credit Line: Acquired by the Committee for the Purchase and Placement of Works of Art
  • Accession No.: 1983.5

Additional Information

Additional Works By Artist

Artist Biography

Knowles, Dorothy (Canadian, born 1927)
Dorothy Knowles was born in 1927 in Unity, Saskatchewan, near the Alberta border. Growing up on a farm overlooking a valley, she spent much time immersed in her prairie surroundings.

Originally intending to work as a laboratory technician, she studied biology at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon from 1944 to 1948. Though always interested in art, it was not until attending a summer workshop at Emma Lake that her aptitude for painting was formally recognized. This was followed by four years of evening classes at the University of Saskatchewan, the summer program at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and enrollment at the Goldsmith School of Art in London, England in 1952. That same winter, she married painter William Perehudoff (1918-2013), with whom she raised three artist daughters: Catherine, Carol, and Rebecca Perehudoff.

In the late 1960s, the couple purchased a cottage on Emma Lake, the site of influential summer workshops with such notable art critics and artists as Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman, Jules Olitski, and Kenneth Noland. It was at one such workshop in 1962, heeding the encouragement of American critic Greenberg, that Knowles immersed herself fully in painting from nature, putting aside the contemporary predominance of abstraction. Knowles attended the Emma Lake Artist’s Workshops frequently, as both participant and leader, which strongly influenced younger painters across Western Canada.

Known for her vast prairie landscapes in watercolour, oil, and acrylic paint, Dorothy Knowles received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1987 and was recognized as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Regina and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. In 2006, Canada Post featured two of her paintings (dated 1971) on postage stamps.

The University of Alberta Art Collection features two of Dorothy Knowles’ paintings.

(Source: "Duets: Shared Ideas in Painting" exhibition text copy, February 2014)

University of Alberta Museums University of Alberta

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