Series - 3. Frederick Brigden Papers

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  1. Frederick Brigden Papers

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  • 1856-1918 (Creation)

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0.14 metres : textual records

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Biographical history

Frederick H. Brigden (known as Fred to distinguish him from his father) was nineteen months old when he came to Canada with his parents and brother in 1872. A natural talent for drawing and painting led to Fred receiving drawing lessons from the age of seven. He went on sketching trips from the age of twelve and at fourteen was enrolled as a student at the Ontario School of Art.In 1888, Fred Brigden entered his father's business as a wood-engraver. As well as becoming Art director of the firm, training fashion artists for Eaton's Catalogue and supervising the change-over from wood to photo-engraving, by 1890 he was an active member of the Toronto Art Students' League. Here he came under the influence of C.W. Jeffrey's and C. M. Manley, the latter becoming a close personal friend. From this time on, Fred Brigden began his second career as a professional artist. By the end of the century he was an established member of the Ontario Society of Artist and had exhibited at the Royal Canadian Academy, becoming a member in 1939.

In 1913, Frederick Brigden sent Fred to Winnipeg to find suitable premises for a new branch of the family firm. Once the firm began operating in 1914 and Arnold O. Brigden was installed as manager, Fred Brigden divided his time between Winnipeg and Toronto. Following his father's death in 1917 and his brother George's assumption of the Presidency, Fred Brigden became General Manager of both branches of the firm. The Winnipeg branch was incorporated as a company in its own right in 1920 with Fred Brigden as President and Arnold O. Brigden as Manager.

Following his brother George's death in 1941, Fred Brigden became President of both the Toronto and Winnipeg firms, and resigned as General Manager. He left the running of the business to an executive and board consisting of family members and skilled department heads. He spent his last years painting, writing and giving talks on art and matters relating to art. He died March 24 1956 while on a sketching trip to Bolton, Ontario.

Custodial history

The custodial history of the items described here is uncertain. Some items are cited in the catalogue for the 1974 exhibition "The Brigden Collection" and the items described here may have come to the Winnipeg Art Gallery after Arnold Brigden's death in 1972.

Scope and content

Items described here consist of Frederick Brigden's diaries dating from 1856, 1859, and 1860. Also described here are items of correspondence and family history materials, including some items pertaining to Frederick's uncle Cornelius Fielding and Frederick's brother William.

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No restrictions on access; advance notice required to view.

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No reproduction without prior written permission.

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The Finding Aid is the fonds description.

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  • English

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