Memorable Manitobans: Victor Albert Long (1866-1938)
Born at Fort Erie, Ontario on 24 May 1866, son of Richard and Anne Long, he was educated the St. Catharines College Institute and Trinity College Dublin. He studied painting at Munich, Germany and travelled all over the world, engaged in painting. He returned to Canada in 1887 and opened a Winnipeg studio at 383 Main Street where he specialized in portraits of anyone, regardless of status. He also approached the city and province offering to paint large portraits of public figures such as Mayors, Premiers, and Speakers at a deeply discounted price in exchange for them being prominently displayed. Long soon found that he was able to live on his income as an artist, one of the first in the city to do so.
Hundreds of Long’s portraits hang in legislatures, city halls, universities, and other institutions across the West. His most accessible works in Winnipeg include portraits of a number of the city’s early Mayors in the public gallery of the city council chambers as well as Andrew Carnegie’s portrait and landscapes of Fort Garry and Fort Douglas at the Millennium Library.
On 17 January 1902, he married Alexandra Victoria Anderson Hughes (1871-1955) at Brandon and they had two children: Winifred Long (1894-?) and John Alexander Long (1904-?). In 1910, the family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia but each summer Long would take a train back to Winnipeg, collecting new commissions at stops along the route. He would ship the completed works from his Vancouver studio.
He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 18 December 1938. His correspondence relating to Manitoba political portraits (1915-1927) is in the Archives of Manitoba.
His portraits in Manitoba included:
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
“Vancouver artist found dead in room,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 December 1938, page 3.
“Artist's painting tells of sympathy,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 March 1970.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
A portrait of artist Victor Long, West End Dumplings blog.
Artists in Canada: Long, Victor Arthur, Portrait Gallery of Canada.
We thank Rachelle Ross and Lisa Desilets for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Christian Cassidy and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 December 2021