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Two Women - Two Perspectives - Part 2

Philippa Faulkner - History of a Belleville Artist

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Philippa Faulkner

Philippa Burrows Faulkner was born in Belleville on February 28, 1917. As an artist of exceptional talent we can be proud to call her a native of this City.

Her connections to Belleville run deep and she has earned her place in our record books. We are pleased to be able to share a small part of her story.

In 1896, Philippa’s mother Jesse Patterson was unofficially adopted by John Phillips and Harriet Dougall – who, in 1882-83 had built a home on the corner of Bridge and Dufferin streets in Belleville.

That historic and beautiful “Second Empire” house would eventually be sold by Philippa Faulkner to the County of Hastings and the City of Belleville to become what is currently Glanmore National Historic Site.

Harriet Dougall Phillips, Philippa’s grandmother, was a talented artist and some of her paintings can still be found at Glanmore today.

She and her husband had no surviving children when they built their grand residence so when they brought the fourteen year old Jesse Patterson, (the daughter of a local labourer) into their home they treated her as their own child.

Jesse took on their surname, was sent away to be educated as would any other young lady of means, and then returned to Glanmore where she settled into a lively social life.

In 1916 Jesse (Patterson) Phillips married Belleville businessman Sandford Burrows. They had two daughters, Philippa and Sheila, and this branch of the family took Glanmore as their residence.

According to several accounts, Philippa’s childhood was filled with parties and receptions, “Sometimes the little girls were called downstairs in their nightgowns to demonstrate the charleston dance step to the guests”.

Philippa, was interested in being an artist at a young age*. After winning the high school senior art prize (at the Bishop Strachan School, Toronto) in 1934, she moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Fine and Applied Art.

She graduated from this renowned art school in 1940, and then continued to study in New York under artist Hans Hoffman.

We know that Philippa was more than a “Sunday Painter” and that she took her career as an artist seriously. She continued to study and practice various artistic methods and styles throughout her career and her art reflects her evolution.

Between 1948 and 1950 she studied at the Doon School of Fine Arts with artists like Carl Schaeffer, Frederick Varley, York Wilson, Clare Bise and Yvonne Hauser. 

After the death of her husband, Philippa moved to Mexico with her children to study at the Instituto Allende, in Mexico on a Canada Council Scholarship.

After several years of study she gained a Master of Fine Arts Degree.

In 1971 Philippa Faulkner sold Glanmore and moved to Toronto where she set up her studio and continued to paint and to study.

In 1986 she attended the Ontario College of Art. In 1988 she went to Italy and in 1990 to Spain, both with the Visual Arts School of New York.

Upon her return to Belleville we know that she moved back into Glanmore where she created and displayed her own artwork. She also made major renovations to her house.