Walter Joseph (W.J.) Phillips - Prairie Elevator

  • Prairie Elevator
  • Woodcut on Paper
  • 8.3 x 12.8 in
  • 1943
  • Sold
  • Loch Gallery, Calgary

titled, numbered, and signed 


Walter Joseph Phillips, born in Lincolnshire, England in 1884, is recognised today as a master of the watercolour and the woodcut print medium. Trained at the Birmingham School of Art, he was a successful watercolour artist in England before he and his wife, Gladys, immigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1913.


Although watercolour remained Phillips's primary medium, the woodcut print was an enduring interest that brought his work to a wider audience. Among his best-known and loved images in watercolour and woodcut are those that depict family holidays on Lake of the Woods. While the family lived in Winnipeg, their summers were often spent at a cottage on the lake. Walter and Gladys had six children, and he spent much of his time during these getaways painting the children, carefree in their youth, as they relished their summers at the lake.


In 1940 Phillips was invited to join the faculty of the Banff Summer School of Fine Arts (now the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity) where he taught nearly every summer for twenty years. Phillips had first encountered the Canadian Rockies in 1926, and inspired by their grandeur, he returned west to the mountains as often as he was able over the next 15 years. In 1941, with five of their six children grown, Phillips and Gladys moved from Winnipeg to Calgary where he had accepted a teaching position at the Provincial Institute of Technology (the art department of which is now the Alberta University of the Arts). The couple finally moved to Banff in 1943 where they would live beneath the shadow of Mount Rundle—his "bread and butter" mountain—until 1960


Walter Phillips's works are housed in collections across Canada, including The National Gallery of Canada, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, as well as collections abroad in London, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Japan, and private collections the world over. The most extensive private collection of his work was gifted to the city of Winnipeg. Now permanently housed in the Pavilion Gallery Museum in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park, the Crabb collection is available for public viewing year round.

More Artwork from this Artist

  • Swans

  • Wood Engraving on Paper
  • 3.5 x 3.7 in
  • 1932
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  • Deep Cove

  • Watercolour on Paper
  • 14 x 21 in
  • 1957
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  • The Source of the Bow

  • Wood Engraving on Paper
  • 6.4 x 4.1 in
  • 1936
  • Price available on request
  • Bredon Village

  • Woodcut on Paper
  • 10.43 x 12.44 in
  • 1928
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  • Above Lake Louise

  • Woodcut on Paper
  • 7.44 x 6.22 in
  • 1945
  • Price available on request
  • A Gloucester Village

  • Woodcut on Paper
  • 8.5 x 9.8 in
  • 1926
  • Price available on request
  • Morning

  • Woodcut on Paper
  • 7.08 x 7.6 in
  • 1924
  • Price available on request
  • Norman Bay, Lake of the Woods

  • Woodcut on Paper
  • 11.49 x 8.38 in
  • 1920
  • Price available on request

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