Maurice Canning Wilks ARHA RUA

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Maurice Canning Wilks ARHA RUA

Maurice Canning Wilks, a landscape and portrait painter, was born on 25 November 1910 in Belfast. Wilks attended Malone Public School before studying at Belfast College of Art. When Wilks was nineteen, he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Hibernian Academy, going on to exhibit his work in London, Montreal, Boston and Toronto, many of which were solo exhibitions. He was an early exhibiter with the Ulster Academy of Arts, and retained his status of academician when the Royal Ulster Academy came into existence. Later in his life he was elected an associate member of the RHA.

With a focus on Irish landscapes, Wilks often captured subjects of Donegal and the West of Ireland. He was also a successful portrait painter, one sitter included his artistic mentor, James Humbert Craig. During the 1950s, he held several solo shows at Anderson & McAuley. During the 1960s, solo exhibitions were held in Montreal and Boston, while Wilks also exhibited at the Magee Gallery and Walker Art Gallery. After Wilks passed away in 1984, a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Oriel Gallery.

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