Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Johnston Musgrove (1882-1952)

Artist, educator.

Born at Edinburgh, Scotland in 1882, he studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1901 to 1910. In 1913 he immigrated to Winnipeg to become Principal of the Winnipeg School of Art. He remained in the position until 1921, when he opened the Western Art Academy. Musgrove spent most of his adult life in Winnipeg, except for a year in Scotland in the early 1920s. He co-founded the Manitoba Society of Artists in 1925 and was a regular exhibitor at its shows. He specialized in watercolours. He also taught and wrote frequently on art for local newspapers. After 1932, he served for many years as curator for the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Musgrove was one of the handful of artists who kept art in Winnipeg alive during the dark days of the 1930s and 1940s. He died at Winnipeg on 31 January 1952 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery. An exhibition of his work was held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1986.

See also:

The Winnipeg School of Art: The Early Years by Marilyn Baker (1984), page 106.

The Forgotten Innovator, Alexander J. Musgrove by Nancy Dillow (1985).

Sources:

“Ex-curator of Art Gallery dies at 70,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1952. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10]

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 February 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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