Ken Phillips and Marie Cecilia Guard

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Ken Phillips and his wife, Marie Cecilia Guard were one of Canada’s rare artist couples and they sustained a passion for each other and art over long lives. Initially trained by Group of Seven artists, including J.E.H. MacDonald and Arthur Lismer, their work evolved over a lifetime.

Marie’s first interest was figure work, and her outstanding lifesized nudes (a woman looking at what it meant to be a woman) were exhibited to acclaim in the 1930’s. Ken was fascinated by architecture. Notable are his pen and ink drawings of old Toronto, during the time of much demolition. His eloquent sketches of the demise of the grand theaters are particularly significant.

During the Second World War, they moved from Toronto to what was then a woodland Mississauga home. Unlike their Group of Seven teachers, who traveled for their subjects, Phillips and Guard spent the rest of their lives and exploring and celebrating the Canadian landscape of their home.

For more information about Ken Phillips and Marie Cecilia Guard, contact Peri Phillips McQuay –