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Memorable Manitobans: Nicholas de Grandmaison (1892-1978)


Born in Russia, he served in the Russian army and was a German prisoner of war. He ended up in England after the First World War, but uncertain of his immigrant status there, he came to Canada. In Winnipeg, he found work at Brigden’s, and he was enrolled at the Winnipeg School of Art from 1923 to 1926 and 1928 to 1929. Travels outside Winnipeg led him to become fascinated with Indians. A successful career as a portrait artist and commercial illustrator in Winnipeg was ended by the Depression. By 1931 he was in Calgary as a staff member of the Technical School. Throughout the remainder of his life he specialized in portraits of Indians. He entered the Royal Canadian Academy in 1942 and received the Order of Canada in 1972.

See also:

History in Their Blood: The Indian Portraits of Nicholas de Grandmaison by Hugh A. Dempsey (1982).


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 February 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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